West Nile virus found in mosquitos on Toronto Island

Jul 27 2017, 8:17 pm

After months of being closed, Toronto Island is set to reopen next week.

The news of its reopening also comes with news from Toronto Public Health regarding West Nile virus on the Island.

While the risk of acquiring West Nile virus in Toronto is low, Toronto Public Health has confirmed that six mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus in various parts of the city, including the Island this year.

Each summer, starting in June, the city tests adult mosquitos for the virus. Once a week, forty mosquito traps are set across the city at standard locations and the mosquitoes captured are submitted to a laboratory for identification and testing for West Nile virus. The testing this year will conclude on September 11, according to the City.

Toronto Public Health spokesperson Dr. Christine Navarrro shared tips to prevent being bitten, which include:

· Wearing light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors
· Applying insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
· Taking extra care during peak mosquito biting time (dusk and dawn) by using mosquito repellent and wearing protective clothing
· Removing standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed
· Ensuring your home has tight-fitting screens on windows and doors

The City’s website has a weekly update on the mosquito testing, and further information regarding the virus.

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