The chief medical officer of health advises that, as of the end of the day yesterday, 15 additional positive human test results for West Nile virus had been reported in Manitoba since last week. These new results most likely reflect exposures to infected mosquitoes before or during early September.
To date in 2007, a total of 566 individuals have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Manitoba. Of these, 21 test results were identified by Canadian Blood Services routine screening. The donated blood units were discarded as planned.
To date, 449 West Nile virus human cases have been classified, of which 58 are West Nile virus neurological syndrome. In 2007, there have been three human deaths related to West Nile virus infections in Manitoba.
Based on the most recent mosquito surveillance, the time of year and the life cycle of the Culex tarsalis mosquito, the current risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus in Manitoba is considered very low. A few mosquitoes may be active if the weather is warm.
Whenever mosquito activity is observed, Manitobans are encouraged to reduce the risk of mosquito bites by:
· using appropriate mosquito repellent;
· wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing; and
· maintaining door and window screens so they fit tightly and are free of holes.
Additional information on human cases will be posted on the WNV website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv as it becomes available.
For more information, visit the website or call Health Links–Info Santé at 1-888-315-9257 or 788-8200 in Winnipeg.