Toronto Public Health has received a lab report indicating two mosquito pools in Toronto have tested positive for West Nile Virus. This is the first positive test for West Nile Virus in Toronto for 2016.
“The positive test result is a good reminder for Toronto residents to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to remove standing water from their properties to prevent mosquito breeding,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health.
Although the risk of becoming infected is low, protection against mosquito bites can further reduce this risk. Toronto Public Health reminds residents to take precautions now and throughout the summer to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
• Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and a hat when outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• Use insect repellent approved by Health Canada and follow product instructions.
• Remove standing water from your property where mosquitoes can breed.
• Maintain screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
From early June to the end of September, Toronto Public Health sets 43 mosquito traps across the city and submits mosquitoes for laboratory testing every week. As part of the City of Toronto’s West Nile Virus mosquito reduction program, City-owned and maintained catch basins and other surface water sites are treated with larvicide to reduce mosquito breeding.
In 2015, Toronto Public Health reported 18 positive mosquito pools and 13 confirmed human cases. To date in 2016, there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Toronto.