Culex Tarsalis mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus (WNV) have been detected in Manitoba.
According to Manitoba Health, they were collected last week from the Rural Municipality of Headingley. This is the first mosquito pool that has tested positive in Manitoba this season.
Manitoba Health states the risk of exposure to WNV is currently low, but likely to increase in the coming weeks, as the highest risk period is historically in July and August. Manitobans are reminded that it takes just a single bite from an infected mosquito to contract WNV.
While most people who are infected will develop mild or no symptoms, some can develop severe symptoms that can result in hospital stays and even death. Recovery from WNV infection, particularly severe symptoms, can take months or years.
While Manitobans are encouraged to enjoy outdoor activities, it is critical to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and potential exposure to WNV by:
- reducing the amount of time spent outdoors during peak mosquito hours between dusk and dawn;
- using an appropriate mosquito repellent;
- wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pant legs;
- maintaining door and window screens; and
- cleaning and emptying yard items that collect water.
Between 2017 and 2021, there were 45 cases of WNV in Manitoba. Nine cases were hospitalized and four required intensive care. No confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus have been identified in Manitoba yet this year.