With the recent warm weather and subsequent rainfall, Alberta Health Services is warning Airdronians about the dangers of the West Nile Virus.

Dr. Jason Cabay with the Calgary Zone of AHS said that the risk for the virus is always prevalent at this time of year.mosquito courtesy allan bailey(Photo Courtesy: Allan Bailey)

“We’ve seen not as many as in the hotter parts of the province, particularly the south. As long as there’s consistent heat, there are the conditions for mosquitoes to breed and some of those mosquitoes will likely have West Nile Virus in a given year.”

Thankfully, Dr Cabay said that the number of cases of the virus has been quite small in the last few years.

“There were no human cases in 2014, 2015 and 2018 and there were, in the province, 5 and 7 cases in 2016 and 2017. We don’t know every year what the season’s going to be like until it gets underway.”

As with many viruses, prevention is the best medicine for the virus with insect repellent, light coloured clothing and hats as ways to prevent mosquito bites.

AHS also recommends not keeping pools of water near your house, which are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes that could possibly carry the virus.

Dr Cabay explains what you should look out for if you believe you or anyone in your family has caught the West Nile Virus.

“Most people that get bitten by a mosquito with West Nile Virus, they don’t develop any symptoms at all and then the small proportion do develop some symptoms, kind of flu-like illness that tends to self-resolve. In serious cases, there can be a neurological syndrome that develops that can be quite severe.”

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