Since summer is here we must remember about the dangers that come with it as well. The Alberta Health Services is here to remind us about the West Nile Virus and how we can protect ourselves against it.
The virus is highly dangerous because it cannot be treated. Therefore, it is crucial that we try to prevent it. “There is no treatment, so the real focus with West Nile is on prevention as the season gets underway. We want to remind everyone to focus on preventing bites as they’re able to,” Dr Jason Cabaj, Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services Calgary zone explained.
It is not difficult to stay safe, and there are a couple of precautions that we can take in order to protect ourselves. For example, you can take a look at your wardrobe and make some easy choices. Light colored shirts and long pants and long-sleeved shirts are very helpful. Hats are something that you can wear as well.
When it comes to the West Nile Virus infection we must remember that mosquitoes are to blame. Therefore, you should always keep some insect repellent with you. “Fortunately, the only way people can be infected is through mosquitoes, other animals can be infected, but can’t transmit it to people and people can’t transmit it to each other,” added Cabaj.
In Alberta there have been 514 cases of West Nile Virus, from 2003 to 2017. The West Nile Non-Neurological Syndrome develops after a bite from an infected mosquito. In more serious cases, it can lead to the West Nile Neurological Syndrome.
The syndromes for the first one include fever, rash, nausea and vomiting, while the more serious Syndrome comes with tremors, unconsciousness, paralysis and even death.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here