As peak season for West Nile Virus approaches, Saskatchewan residents are being reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Mosquitos that carry the virus are most active in late July and August. The risk for contracting West Nile Virus is currently highest in Southern Saskatchewan, where pools of mosquitos testing positive for the virus have been found over the past two weeks.

A majority of people that are infected with West Nile Virus do not experience any symptoms or only experience mild illness including fever, headaches and body aches.

“A small number of people develop a more serious illness called West Nile Virus neuroinvasive disease,” said the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab. “If you develop serious symptoms like a persistent fever, confusion, neck stiffness or an unusually severe headache, seek medical attention immediately.”

Mosquitos are most active on warm evenings between dusk and dawn, so residents are being asked to reduce their time outside during those periods. People can reduce the risk of getting bitten by using mosquito repellent and covering up when outside during those high risk times.

The government is also recommending that residents check door and window screens, to make sure they fit properly and are free of holes. Mosquito habitats can also be reduced by removing standing water from around homes and yards.