Toronto Public Health confirms first human case of West Nile Virus of the year

Sep 16 2021, 6:18 pm

Toronto Public Health (TPH) says they have received a positive laboratory report confirming the city’s first reported adult case of West Nile virus in 2021.

According to TPH, the West Nile virus is an illness that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“While the risk of being infected with West Nile virus remains low in our city, now is a good time to remind residents of prevention steps they can take while enjoying the outside to minimize the likelihood of getting bitten by an infected mosquito that include[s] using insect repellent and wearing light-coloured clothing, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when headed outside to protect themselves from infected mosquito bites,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

The City also advises removing standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed. Standing water includes any water that collects in items such as pool covers, buckets, planters, toys and waste containers.

Toronto Public Health says that the West Nile virus symptoms usually develop between two and 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.

“Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Older individuals or individuals with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness. A person who has concerns about any symptoms should contact their health care provider,” said TPH.

Last year, a total of 33 laboratory-confirmed human cases of West Nile virus were reported to TPH.

DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

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