Ottawa Public Health (OPH) officials have alerted the city of its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV). The virus has been discovered in urbanized areas of Ottawa in northern house mosquito, which likes to live and breed among humans. OPH has announced that it is well-equipped with a proactive plan to deal with the spread of this virus through weekly surveillance and various man-made standing water sites situated on the city property, such as stormwater management ponds and ditches. “As the part of this plan, OPH is also applying larvicide regularly in the city-owned storm sewer catch-basins in order to reduce mosquitos from populating,” stated the organization in a press release on Friday.
In the previous week, OPH issued a warning in regards with the mosquitos in the city being tested positive for the virus. As of August 8, 2017, there has been 4 human cases of this virus in the neighboring territory, Ontario, in 2017 while 2016 witnessed the diagnosis of two people with WNV in Ottawa and fifty-five in Ontario. “Generally people do not develop any symptoms of WNV infection; however nearly 20% of all the infected people may experience several flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, muscle aches, and, perhaps, a rash,” stated OPH.
Aged folks and people with weakened immune systems are most prone to this infection and are at a higher risk for a rather serious permutation of it, which commonly occurs in less than 1% of infected people, in which, the virus attacks the central nervous system. The organization has warned all the Ottawa residents to keep themselves protected from mosquito bites and to get rid of standing water in their neighborhood to stop mosquito breeding.