Deadly mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis found in Windsor

The rare but deadly mosquito-borne virus Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in Windsor, Ont., according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

The virus, responsible for human and horse deaths in a number of U.S. states, was found in a mosquito pool in Windsor.

The EEE virus moves primarily between birds and mosquitos, but can be spread to humans and other mammals. Five people have died in Michigan from the virus, with nine other cases confirmed in the state.

The health unit said there have been no human cases of EEE identified in Windsor-Essex.

EEE kills one in three people who develop severe symptoms. The virus is rare but dangerous, and symptoms include fever, chills and muscle and joint pain, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It can cause inflammation and swelling in the brain.

According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, the cooler temperatures might not be cold enough to eliminate the risk posed by mosquitoes.

“This is a good reminder for everyone to continue to protect themselves against mosquitoes by removing any standing water and to take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites,” Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health, said in a statement.

The health unit conducts routine screening of identified mosquito pools and will distribute educational materials in the neighbourhood where the positive pool was identified.

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