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Winnipeg woman diagnosed with West Nile

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The risk of contracting the West Nile virus remains low as summer winds down, but there has been a recent increase in the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus, health officials say.

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The risk of contracting the West Nile virus remains low as summer winds down, but there has been a recent increase in the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus, health officials say.

Health officials have identified the first human case of the West Nile virus this summer in Manitoba.

Manitoba Health confirmed a woman in her 40s from the Winnipeg area has reported mild symptoms of the virus. Officials say her exposure occurred in the region earlier this summer.

While Manitoba Health says the risk of contracting the West Nile virus remains low as summer winds down, there has been a recent increase in Culex tarsalis mosquitoes (which carries the virus) thanks to a recent upswing in daytime temperatures.

Mosquito activity remains especially high in the early evening hours.

To decrease the risk of mosquito bites -- and the chances of contracting the West Nile virus-- Manitoba Health reminds people to reduce the amount of hours spent outdoors during the evening hours and use mosquito repellant. Individuals should also wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing.

To help reduce the number of mosquitoes around homes and business, health officials suggest emptying standing water from bird baths, eavestroughs and other items that may collect water.

For more information about the West Nile virus, visit the Manitoba Health website at www.gov.mb.ca/health/wnv.

History

Updated on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM CDT: Removes graph of nuisance mosquito counts; adds link to Mosquito Watch page which provides fuller explanation of what the graph displays.

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