WNv Infects B.C. Woman

Sept. 20, 2010, 10:56 a.m.

The adult Culex tarsalis mosquito can carry the potentially deadly West Nile virus.

The adult Culex tarsalis mosquito can carry the potentially deadly West Nile virus. (Regents University of California)

A Kelowna woman is the first confirmed case of human infection by the West Nile virus in B.C. this year.

The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, was bitten by an infected mosquito around her home, said Dr. Rob Parker of Interior Health.

Parker said the woman suffered muscle aches and fever and has since fully recovered.

He did not specify when the infection occurred.

A dead crow had been confirmed in August to be carrying the West Nile virus in the region, about 250 kilometres east of Vancouver.

Last summer, B.C. had its first two cases of locally contracted West Nile virus ever recorded.

It's believed those people were bitten by infected mosquitoes in the South Okanagan.

In rare cases, West Nile infection can lead to secondary infection of encephalitis or meningitis, potentially fatal illnesses. Those complications occur in about one in every 150 infections, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.


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