1st probable human case of West Nile virus reported in Toronto

04 Aug 2023 | Health | 141 |
1st probable human case of West Nile virus reported in Toronto

The first probable human case of West Nile virus in Toronto in 2023 has been reported, health officials say.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) said the first probable case of the virus has been reported in an adult resident.

West Nile virus is an infection that is transmitted to people through a bite from an infected mosquito.

“While the risk of being infected with West Nile virus remains low in Toronto, now is a good time to remind residents ahead of the long weekend of the steps they can take to avoid bites from infected mosquitos when enjoying the beautiful summer weather,” Dr. Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health, in a statement Friday.

De Villa said people should apply insect repellent, wear light-coloured clothing, long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

People should take “extra care” between dusk and dawn, which are “peak mosquito-biting hours,” De Villa said.

Additionally, TPH said residents should make sure they have tight-fitting screens on their windows and doors, and should remove standing water from their properties to avoid mosquito breeding.

According to TPH, symptoms of the virus usually show between two and 14 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands.

“Older individuals or people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness,” TPH said. “Anyone concerned about any symptoms should contact their health care provider.”

TPH said so far in 2023, 20 pools of mosquitoes have been found positive for the virus in Toronto.

“With the increased hot weather in Toronto lately, there is a higher risk of mosquitos that can transmit the virus once they are infected,” TPH said. “In 2022, a total of 14 batches of mosquitos were confirmed as positive for the virus, in addition to 14 laboratory-confirmed human cases of WNV.”

by Global News