There has been one human case of West Nile virus in Manitoba so far this year and it occurred within the Southern Health region. Dr. Michael Routledge, Medical Officer of Health for Southern Health, says he can't give more details about where the person is from for privacy reasons. But he adds the case involves a male youth with serious symptoms.
"This was a case that was in hospital and a case we classify as a neurological case, so it was on the more severe side in terms of cases. There probably, almost assuredly, are more cases out there. Most West Nile cases don't have severe symptoms and, in fact, in some infections, people don't even know that they've been sick."
Manitoba Health believes the youth likely received the ill-fated mosquito bite during the week of July 30th. Dr. Routledge says the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are still active.
"Certainly, the combination of the shorter nights and the cooler nights and also the fact that the temperature is falling, means that the risk is much lower now than it was, say a month ago. But the mosquitoes are still there so people should still take precautions. Really, we don't say that the risk is gone until we start to see frost."
Dr. Routledge outlines the symptoms that may indicate a person has the more serIous form of virus.
"With West Nile virus, you're looking at things like fever. But when it becomes a really severe fever and then it extends into other symptoms, you're seeing dizziness, you're having some confusion accompanying the fever, weakness, those types of things, anything that seems sort of beyond your typical kind of cold or flu, it's always a good idea, at that point, to go and see somebody."