3 more Albertans confirmed to have West Nile

After confirming three new human cases of West Nile virus, Alberta Health Services is again urging Albertans to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

New cases bring provincial total to four this year

After confirming three new human cases of West Nile virus, Alberta Health Services is again urging Albertans to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

"Our advice to all Albertans remains consistent: wear insect repellent with DEET; wear long-sleeved, light-coloured shirts and pants; wear a hat and consider staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active," said AHS senior medical officer of health Dr. Gerry Predy in a release. 

This is the fourth confirmed case in Alberta this year.

Alberta's first case this year, which was the first one confirmed in the province since 2010, affected a southern Alberta woman who did not travel outside the province.

The three new cases are all women under the age of 65 — one from Calgary, one in northern Alberta and another from central Alberta.

Two women had travelled to Eastern Canada prior to noticing symptoms of the virus, which means the disease could have been contracted outside of the province. 

After being bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile, humans can develop non-neurological syndrome — formerly known as West Nile fever — and the more serious neurological syndrome.

Those with the non-neurological syndrome may experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin rash, swollen glands and headache.  

The small number of individuals who do develop the neurological syndrome may experience tremors, drowsiness, confusion, swallowing problems, high fever, unconsciousness, paralysis and even death.

One of the three new cases in Alberta was confirmed to be neurological syndrome.

As of Aug. 18, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported 71 cases of West Nile infection in Canada this year. In 2011, 102 cases of the infection were reported nationwide.

More information on the West Nile virus can be found on the provincial website, fightthebite.info.