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Toronto resident infected with West Nile virus: Toronto Public Health

Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus, among other illnesses. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is advising residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. SUBMITTEDSubmitted / Submitted

Toronto Public Health has confirmed the city’s first case of West Nile virus this year.

 Public health officials reported that an adult was infected and that the confirmation came through lab testing.

“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. We encourage everyone to take the appropriate precautions to minimize the risk to exposure to West Nile virus through the bite of an infected mosquito,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

Potentially fatal, West Nile sysmptoms usually develo between two and 14 days after a bite and can include fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, body aches and a rash. Those with a compromised immune system are at higher risk of illness.

While the risk of becoming infected remains low, wear light-coloured clothes and long pants and sleeves. Also apply insect repellent containing DEET especially during dawn and dusk which are peak mosquito biting hours.

In 2018, 39 cases of West Nile were reported in Toronto.