Health

Toronto reports 1st human West Nile virus case of 2018

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Toronto city health officials 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 2018.

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The individual was hospitalized for their illness but is recovering at home.

“While the risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus in Toronto is very low, now is a good time to remind residents of the ways they can protect themselves from mosquito bites and help reduce the risk of infection,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

In 2017, Toronto Public Health reported 26 lab-confirmed human cases of West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

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.

Toronto Public Health recommends the following prevention tips to protect residents from mosquito bites:
• Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.
• Apply insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin and follow the manufacturer’s 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.
• Ensure your home has tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.

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