First human case of West Nile virus detected in York Region
The West Nile virus is transmitted mainly through mosquito bite. (Image Quebec government documentation)
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012 10:03AM EDT
Officials say they’ve detected the first probable human case of West Nile virusin York Region this year.
The virus was found in Markham, Ont. and York’s public health department said 20 mosquito pools in the region have tested positive for West Nile virus this summer.
“We are seeing increased West Nile virus activity in York Region and across Ontario,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, medical officer of health, in a statement released on Wednesday. “Our best defence against West Nile virus is prevention and protection. Cover up and limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”
Since 2008, there have been two reported human cases of West Nile virus in York Region, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light. In rare cases, the virus can cause serious neurological illness, including the inflammation of the brain.
Kurji said those experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.