Man tests positive for West Nile virus in York Region
Bryann Aguilar, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, September 19, 2019 5:26PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 19, 2019 7:23PM EDT
A man from the town of King has tested positive for the West Nile virus, York Region Public Health says.
It is the first human case recorded in the region in 2019.
“The risk of exposure to West Nile virus can be reduced by taking simple steps,” York Region’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Karim Kurji said in a statement.
“Remember to use insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin, wear protective clothing when outdoors and remove standing water around your home in places such as flower pots, birdbaths and containers.”
York public health said they have an annual West Nile virus control plan, which includes reducing mosquito populations using government-approved pesticides.
Health officials also set at least 40 mosquito traps across the region between June and October to capture and test for the virus.
One mosquito trap tested positive for the virus in Vaughan this year, York public health said.
Toronto and Brampton have also reported finding mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus this year.
The virus is passed to humans through a bite from an infected mosquito.
According to Health Canada, 70 to 80 percent of people who get infected with the virus don’t show symptoms.
Milder symptoms, which can appear two to 15 days after infection, include fever, headache, mild rash, and swollen lymph glands.
Health Canada reports that very few people develop severe symptoms, which includes loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
Adults 50 years or older and those with underlying conditions or weaker immune systems are at greater risk.
Health officials are also advising residents to limit outdoor activities in the early morning and early evening when mosquitoes are most active.