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(NC)-West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitoes and can be fatal for humans. There have been 20 presumed cases of the virus in Canada including one death. In the U.S., over 1000 people have been hospitalized with more than 40 deaths to date.
Since its introduction in 1999, West Nile Virus has spread to Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. By next year, experts predict it will have spread to PEI, New Brunswick, Alberta and BC.
West Nile Virus effects all age groups. Its symptoms are flu-like with high temperatures, headache, blotchy skin, disorientation, stiff neck and loss of muscle control. In rare cases, it can lead to coma and even death.
How do you reduce the chances that a member of your family will contract West Nile Virus from mosquito bites? It’s simple: cut down on mosquitoes. Standing pools of water like garden ponds and birdbaths are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Change the water in these as often as possible. “Better yet,” advises Home Hardware’s Product Manager Derril Linseman, “treat all standing pools of water with a B.t. H-14 product like Aquabac.” B.t. is a naturally occurring substance that has been manufactured into a highly safe and effective commercial formulation that kills mosquito larvae.
The Mosquito/Blackfly Trap can also be effective, as can Mosquito repellent. The most effective personal repellants contain DEET as an active ingredient. DEET is believed to interfere with the sensory receptors of biting insects, making you “invisible” to them in a way.
If you’re averse to using DEET-based repellents, try an all-natural formula like OFF! Botanicals. It can repel mosquitoes for up to 2 hours per application. Visit your local Home Hardware or Home Hardware Building Centre for more detailed information on this or any other mosquito-reducing products.

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