Media Bulletin - Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
June 21, 2007
WEST NILE VIRUS BULLETIN #2
– – – This Summer's First Human Case of West Nile Virus Infection Identified
Manitoba Health has been notified by Canadian Blood Services of a blood donor who tested positive for West Nile virus. The individual, in their 50s and from the South Eastman Regional Health Authority area, donated blood on June 19. A blood-screening test identified the individual as being infected with the virus. Initial reports indicate that the individual has mild symptoms.
Further investigation is underway to confirm when and where exposure may have taken place. The earliest human exposures identified in Manitoba were in mid-June 2006.
At this time, higher than average counts of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes have been identified in many communities in southern Manitoba. As well, more mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus have been identified earlier this year than in previous years. The province continues to monitor adult Culex tarsalis mosquito numbers across southern Manitoba.
Mosquito samples from 11 communities across southern Manitoba from the week of June 10 were identified as positive for West Nile virus. These communities are Altona, Brandon, Carman, Deloraine, Morden, Niverville, Oakbank, Stonewall, Stony Mountain, West St. Paul and Winnipeg.
The risk of becoming ill from West Nile virus is low but is expected to increase in the coming weeks. Adult mosquito control has not been recommended at this time.
Manitobans can reduce the risk of mosquito bites by:
· reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn,
· using appropriate mosquito repellent, and
· maintaining door and window screens so that they fit tightly and are free of holes.
Manitobans can reduce mosquitoes near their homes and in their communities by reducing standing water. To reduce the development of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes:
· clean eavestroughs;
· at least once per week, empty bird baths and other items that might collect water;
· cover rain barrels with mosquito screening or maintain tight seals around downspouts; and
· dispose of old tires or other debris that collect water.