Mosquitos near Toronto test positive for West Nile virus

Aug 11 2020, 7:31 am

Mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus have been found in York Region after a trap located in Markham was tested late last week.

In a news release issued on August 7, York Region stated that mosquitos found in a trap located in the area of Warden Avenue and Highway 7 were found to test positive for the virus.

According to Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, the West Nile virus can easily cause serious illness through an infected mosquito bite.

“Although the chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito is rare, residents are advised to take precautions when outside in the early morning and evening to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the chance of getting West Nile virus,” said Dr. Kurji.

In order to ensure mosquitos aren’t harbouring around your home, York Region recommends cleaning up any water left in birdbaths, flowerpots, and swimming pools, as well as making sure window screens fit tightly and are in good condition.

The Public Health Agency of Canada state that about 70% to 80% of those infected by the virus do not have symptoms, however, mild symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, mild rash, and swollen lymph glands.

Symptoms usually appear two to 15 days after being infected, according to public health.

While you’re outdoors, it is recommended to use bug spray with DEET or icaridin, wear protective clothing, dress in lighter colours since mosquitos are attracted to dark, and minimize outdoor activities at night.

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