Campus community urged to take precautions to avoid West Nile virus

Symptoms of the viral disease vary from person to person.

The positive test came from one of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit's mosquito traps in Simcoe. However, health officials said some severe cases of the virus can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death.

"Mosquito-borne diseases overall are increasing", CDC spokeswoman Kate Fowley told

West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

"I think it's important for us to talk a little bit about it today because it's one of those unusual years where there's not a lot of biting pressure from the so-called nuisance mosquitoes", he said. Fairfax County health officials said they had five reports of people contracting West Nile virus previous year but none in 2016.

Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild, flu-like symptoms.

In Maryland, there were five reported cases of West Nile past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, but most people don't develop any symptoms at all.

Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires. These bodies of standing water are where mosquitoes lay their eggs. The use of mosquito nets can be useful at night, particularly for infants.

  • Delores Daniels