Two ravens have become the first evidence of West Nile Virus in the province this year.
The dead birds were found near Kimberly and submitted for testing.
“To date, there have no human cases reported, no positive mosquito pools identified, and no positives identified by Canadian Blood Services through their screening program,” says Interior Health.
Leah Feist, a communicable disease specialist with Interior Health, says the disease is spread to humans from corvid birds like crows, ravens, magpies and jays, through mosquito bites.
“About 80% of people who contract West Nile Virus will have no symptoms at all. But those that do develop symptoms may experience headache, tiredness, rash, fever, sore joints and muscles and sometimes an upset stomach,” says Feist.
In rare cases, some people infected will get a serious illness that can include inflammation of the brain or even paralysis.
Feist from Interior Health installing screens on doors and avoiding outdoor activities at dusk and dawn are ways to prevent bites.
“This is the time of day that mosquitos that carry the virus are most active.. You can also wear protective clothing. If you’re in an area with lots of mosquitos, wear loose fitting, light coloured full length pants and a long sleeved shirt.”
Using mosquito repellent is another preventative measure.