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Number of West Nile cases in Manitoba rises to 9

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The number of confirmed cases of West Nile disease in Manitoba has nearly doubled in the past week.

There are now nine Manitobans who have been diagnosed with the virus this summer — up from five a week ago, according to Manitoba Health’s website.

One of the four new cases involves a Winnipeg man in his 50s who contracted the more serious West Nile neurological syndrome. All other cases in Manitoba this year to date have been listed as non-neurological syndrome or unclassified.

West Nile tends to peak in late summer. Dr. Richard Rusk, a provincial medical officer of health, told the Free Press earlier in the week that he expected more Manitobans to test positive for the disease, which is spread by infected mosquitoes.

According to a provincial mosquito surveillance program report, 10 more traps were discovered in the past week to contain insects infected with West Nile, bringing the seasonal total to 108 across Manitoba.

Of the nine human cases of West Nile, five were identified within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, according to the Health Department’s website. Two cases were discovered in the Southern health region, one in the Western region and one in the Interlake-Eastern region.

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