It's important to protect yourself and your family members from mosquito bites in light of West Nile virus rearing its head early this year.
City public health services say mosquitoes with the virus were found in city traps July 18. In the past five years, the earliest infected mosquitoes were found was in August.
That means it's especially important to protect yourself and your family, said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Hamilton's Associate Medical Officer of Health.
"The risk for human cases of West Nile Virus infection increases when positive mosquitoes are found,“ she said.
Most people infected with West Nile Virus will have no symptoms.West Nile virus has reared its head earlier than usual in Hamilton.
But others, particularly older adults or those with weakened immune systems, may experience West Nile fever or develop more severe illness. This can include inflammation of the brain or the lining of the brain, sometimes leading to a long recovery period or death.
If an infected mosquito bites you, symptoms appear in two to 14 days.
The best defense is to use a mosquito repellent containing DEET, the city said in a statement Friday afternoon.
When using mosquito repellent, carefully follow manufacturer's instructions.
Other ways to prevent being bitten:
The city has deemed the current risk for human infection from West Nile virus in Hamilton as moderate.
City staff are also conducting larviciding treatments on city street catch basins. The first round began on June 18, and rounds two and three will take place in July and August.
For additional information on West Nile virus, call 905-546-3575 during business hours, or visit hamilton.ca/westnile.