Lab confirms Toronto's first human case of West Nile virus in 2019
In this file photo, a mosquito is sorted according to species and gender before testing for West Nile Virus. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 10:25AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 3:03PM EDT
A Toronto resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus, marking the city’s first laboratory-confirmed case of 2019.
Toronto Public Health confirmed the diagnosis in a press release issued on Tuesday, though it was not immediately clear when the adult resident contracted the virus.
In 2018 there were 39 laboratory-confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Toronto. There were also 40 positive tests involving mosquitoes who were carrying the virus.
"As we head into late summer, we know that residents and visitors to Toronto are maximizing their time outside to enjoy the weather and outdoor activities,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in the press release. “We encourage everyone to take the appropriate precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to West Nile virus through the bite of an infected mosquito."
West Nile virus can be transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected mosquito.
Symptoms usually occur 12 to 14 days after the bite and can include fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph glands.
Each summer, public health officials conduct weekly tests on mosquito traps set up across the city as part of their efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.
They also post signs in areas where infected mosquitoes have been located, warning the public to take precautions such as applying insect repellant to their bodies and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.