Human case of West Nile virus reported in B.C.

Human case of West Nile virus reported in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported on Vancouver Island in August

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that a person tested positive for the West Nile Virus on Vancouver Island last month.

It’s the first human-case reported in B.C. this year, and believed to be the first human case reported in B.C. outside the Okanagan.

The provincial agency said they could not provide the exact location of the report, but received notice of the travel-related case on Aug 21.

READ MORE: Horse tests positive for West Nile Virus in Princeton, B.C.

Since 2017, two other human cases were also confirmed in B.C.. Three birds were also diagnosed with West Nile over the past year in the province.

The agency emphasized that the virus can’t be spread through person-to-person contact.

“West Nile virus is a type of virus that is spread by mosquitoes,” reports a statement by the B.C. government. “The infection it causes may be so mild that people don’t even know they have it. But in rare cases, West Nile leads to severe illness that affects the brain or spinal cord. People older than 50 or those with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk for serious problems from West Nile.”

“Most people fully recover from West Nile. But some people who get a severe infection may experience long term physical or mental problems such as weakness, memory loss, or paralysis. A few people die from it.”

Connor Trembley
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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