Duval and Nassau counties each reporting a case of West Nile Virus

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Public Health officials are concerned about widespread West Nile Virus activity throughout the area and are urging residents of all ages to take the necessary steps to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes. Less than one per cent of infected individuals will develop meningitis or encephalitis.

About 20 per cent of those who are infected may experience flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, muscle ache and rash. In rare cases, WNV can cause severe disease with symptoms such as disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, in-flammation of the brain, and going into a coma.

Interior Health says people over 50 and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk, and the risk of contracting the disease is highest in July and August. Veterinarians can arrange for testing of samples from horses suspected of infection with West Nile Virus. The chickens are used to detect some mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile.

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Two dead ravens in Kimberley, B.C., have tested positive for West Nile virus.

There have also been cases of mosquitos spreading the virus to horses and other animals, so horse owners are encouraged to contact their veterinarians for informations about equine vaccines. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers; landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.

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