By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Quebec Ministry of Health reported 201 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in 2018, a record seen in the province, according to a Radio-Canada report (computer translated).
In addition, 15 fatalities were reported. This compares with 27 cases and one death in 2017.
Why the dramatic increase in cases? Not sure, according to Dr. François Milord, medical consultant at the Public Health Department of the Montérégie. “There is no precise explanation, unfortunately. There are years when the number of cases in humans increases a lot and other years when there is very little activity”.
Montérégie reported the most cases, followed by Montreal and Laval.
Approximately 400 human cases associated with WNV in Canada have been reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in 2018. The first human case of West Nile virus infection in Canada was reported in Ontario in 2002.
A bite from an infected mosquito can cause infection with West Nile virus. Infected mosquitoes can spread the virus to humans and other animals.