The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising you that West Nile virus season is nearing full peak.

As a result, the SMDHU is providing a number of tips to help residents protect themselves and enjoy their summer.

In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, Safe Water Coordinator for the health unit, Janee Wallace says there are various ways you can prevent the spread of West Nile.

“Use mosquito repellent and follow the manufacturer’s instructions of the repellent. Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing to cover up in areas where mosquitos are present and try and stay indoors when they are most active – which would be dusk and dawn.”

The health unit notes that most people who are bitten by an infected mosquito do not develop symptoms.

Those who become ill usually experience mild symptoms such as fever, headaches, body aches, rash, nausea, or vomiting.

These symptoms often develop about 3 to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito and may last for several days.

To reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, Wallace says you should try to reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home or cottage and take personal precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

“Standing water is a concern around properties. So, anywhere you can look at areas on properties where water can accumulate and reduce that water. That would be a primary way to reduce mosquito populations in the area.”

It’s the health unit’s role to prevent public risk to vector-borne diseases, like West Nile, by providing education and monitoring for the presence of mosquitoes that are of public health concern.

For more information – head to the health unit’s website.