Peel Public Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2022 in a Brampton resident.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. While most people who contract the disease will show no symptoms, some will experience mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache, mild rash, and swollen lymph glands. In rare cases, persons infected with WNV will develop a more severe form of the disease. People over the age of 50 and those with a compromised immune system are at the highest risk of becoming severely ill when infected with WNV.
West Nile Virus disease activity fluctuates yearly and is dependent on rainfall and temperature. Peel Public Health monitors WNV activity in the local adult mosquito population across the Region during the summer season. The number of adult mosquitos testing positive for WNV has been lower this year than in previous years which may have been caused by lower than usual rainfall in the spring and summer.
“While the overall risk of getting a West Nile Virus infection is lower during the fall months, these cases reinforce the importance of residents protecting themselves against mosquito bites. Before the first frost of fall arrives, residents should remove standing water sources where mosquitoes can breed,” says Dr. Nicholas Brandon, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Region of Peel.
Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
- Apply an approved insect repellent containing an ingredient effective against mosquitoes, such as DEET or icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe use.
- Avoid areas with large mosquito populations and take extra precautions between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and at any time in or near shady, wooded areas.
- Wear light-coloured, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks to protect exposed skin.
- Make sure all window and door screens fit securely and are free of tears and holes.
- Ensure that openings to rain barrels are always covered with a screen mesh.
- Remove or drain items on your property that hold stagnant water. Water that is stagnant for more than seven days is an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes. You can report stagnant water sites to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 or online.
- Register online to receive email notifications and information about where mosquitos have tested positive for West Nile virus found in Peel.
Visit our website for more information about West Nile virus, or call Region of Peel – Public Health at 905-799-7700 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Caledon residents can call toll free at 905-584-2216.