Health warning issued about West Nile Virus
This province avoided the dreaded West Nile Virus until 2009, but now, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning that people should take precautions.
That's because higher temperatures have resulted in larger mosquito populations, particularly in the Okanagan and Fraser Valley.
Mosquitoes pick up the virus from birds and transmit it to humans. There haven't been any positive test results this year in B.C., but it has been detected in Washington, Oregon, Manitoba, and Ontario.
The majority of people who contract the virus show no symptoms, but about 20 percent can develop fever, fatigue, headaches, and swollen lymph glands. In rare instances, there are severe conditions such as brain inflammation or paralysis, which can be fatal.
Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus are more active from dusk to dawn, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. At those times, in particular, it's smart to wear long sleeves and long pants and to tuck pants into your socks. Dark-coloured clothing is more likely to attract the insects.