Toronto Public Health has received laboratory confirmation that an adult resident in Toronto has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first human case testing positive for West Nile virus in Toronto for 2016. Two probable cases of West Nile virus have also been reported to Toronto Public Health and are under investigation.
“While the risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus in Toronto remains low, we ask that residents take the proper precautions to protect themselves,” said Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health.
Toronto Public Health recommends the following prevention measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and to discourage mosquitoes from breeding and maturing:
• wear light-coloured clothing including long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and a hat when outdoors
• use mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada and follow product instructions
• take extra care during peak mosquito-biting time (dusk and dawn) by using mosquito repellent and wearing protective clothing
• remove standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed
• make sure your home has tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.
West Nile virus symptoms usually develop between two and 15 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. If you or a family member has concerns about any symptoms, please contact your health care provider.
In 2015, Toronto Public Health reported 18 West Nile virus positive mosquito batches and 13 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus. As of August 31, 2016, 22 mosquito batches have tested positive for West Nile virus.