A person in southeast Saskatchewan is recovering from the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in the province for 2009.

Provincial health officials would not provide more details about the case, except to say it was a mild form of the virus and that the person likely contracted the disease in early August.

The virus is usually transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The 2009 summer season has been hard on the insects, leading to less risk this year.

In 2008 Saskatchewan recorded just 19 human cases of West Nile virus infections. There were over 1,000 confirmed cases in 2007.

The province's chief medical health officer, Dr. Moira McKinnon, said that despite the low risk, people should remain vigilant until the first hard frost.

The main things to remember:

  • Wear insect repellent that has DEET.
  • Wear protective clothes such as long sleeves and pants.
  • Reduce outdoor time at dawn and dusk.
  • Clear up any standing pools of water where mosquitoes may breed.

Most people who become infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms, but some develop a fever and flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, infection can lead to serious neurological illness or even death.