GTA

Toronto confirms 1st human case of West Nile virus in 2020

Toronto confirms 1st human case of West Nile virus in 2020-Milenio Stadium-GTA
Symptoms of the West Nile virus tend to develop between two and 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. (James Gathany/CDC/Associated Press)

 

Health authorities in Toronto have recorded the first case of the West Nile virus in a resident so far this year, the city says.

The laboratory-confirmed infection is in an adult, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said in a news release Tuesday.

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

It is the second instance of the virus being found in the GTA in 2020. York Region officials found an affected mosquito in Markham earlier this month.

The risk of contracting the virus in Toronto remains low, the release added.

TPH recommends residents take the following steps to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito:

  • Wear light-coloured clothing, long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours, dusk and dawn, by using repellent and covering up.
  • Make sure your home has tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.
  • Remove standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed. Standing water includes any water that collects in items such as buckets, planters, toys and waste containers.

The city saw nine laboratory-confirmed cases of the West Nile virus in humans in 2019, TPH said.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands, and usually develop between two and 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.

CBC

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