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West Nile virus

West Nile virus first appeared in Ontario in 2001. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that become infected by feeding on an infected bird.

Research indicates that four out of five people bitten by an infected mosquito do not show any symptoms. Of those who show symptoms, most will experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on chest, stomach or back.

About one in 150 people infected will experience serious symptoms including high fever, severe headache, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light.

Symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

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