Public health officials have put out a warning after mosquitoes in Hamilton tested positive for the West Nile virus.
These are the first positive results of 2014, the city said in a Thursday news release.
City staff set mosquito traps each year to detect the presence of the virus. Samples collected on Aug. 26 showed that mosquitos found in two of the city’s 30 traps tested positive for West Nile. The infected mosquitoes were captured in the lower city.
Humans contract the virus via mosquito bites, but the city says the risk to residents is currently “low to moderate.”
Health officials say that up to 80 per cent of people who become infected with the West Nile virus never show any symptoms. However, the remaining 20 per cent develop a fever or more severe complications such as brain inflammation. Individuals with weakened immune systems and seniors are particularly vulnerable.
As a result, the city has issued a list of tips on how to avoid mosquito bites:
· Use a bug repellent that contains DEET. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
· Wear long-sleeve and light-coloured clothing while outside.
· Remove standing water from your property at least weekly.
For more information, go to the city’s West Nile information page.