Alberta Health Services officials confirmed three more human cases of West Nile Virus in the province and will update virus case numbers in the province on a weekly basis.
“We hope to remind Albertans that West Nile virus is indeed around and that we should all be taking the precautions we always recommend,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, AHS Senior Medical Officer of Health in a release.
Three women – one from the Calgary area, one from Central Alberta and another from the Northern Zone – have contracted the virus. Both the Calgary patient and the north zone patient are believed to have been exposed to the non-neurological West Nile while travelling in Eastern Canada.
The woman from the central zone has contracted the more serious but rare neurological syndrome of West Nile, and doctors have not confirmed where she may have been exposed to the virus.
According to AHS, those who develop Non-Neurological Syndrome may experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin rash, swollen glands and headache. The small number of individuals who do develop Neurological Syndrome may experience tremors, drowsiness, confusion, swallowing problems, high fever, unconsciousness, paralysis and even death.
Albertans are encouraged to wear insect repellent with DEET; wear long-sleeved, light-coloured shirts and pants; wear a hat; and consider staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. More information on fighting West Nile is available online at Fight The Bite.