Mosquitos are one of the most annoying pests of the summer thanks to the annoyingly itchy bites they leave behind. While most of them are just plain annoying, some mosquitos can also be super dangerous to humans.
Some mosquitos carry West-Nile Virus, an infection that can cause vomiting, high fever, and even paralysis in serious cases. The bad news is West-Nile carrying mosquitos have been found in Ontario.
Ottawa Public Health has confirmed the presence of West-Nile in mosquitos in the Ottawa area, while no human cases of infection have been reported there yet, in Ontario as a whole, it's been confirmed that two people have been infected with the virus this year.
West-Nile virus is really easy to contract and just last year 147 people in Ontario had probable or confirmed cases of the virus.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of infection. Ottawa Public Health encourages people to wear light coloured, tight-knit, loose-fitting clothing, including long sleeves and pants and to use bug spray that contains DEET to protect themselves.
They also warn not to leave anything that collects water outside like watering cans and rain barrels since mosquitos lay their eggs on still water.
If you are infected with the virus you may experience no symptoms at all or deal with flu-like symptoms. In severe cases, however, West-Nile can lead to lack of consciousness, confusion, and even paralysis.