Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in southern Alberta

Alberta Health Services has confirmed one human case of West Nile virus in southern Alberta.

Alberta Health Services is confirming a woman under the age of 65 has tested positive for West Nile virus.

This is the first human case of the infection in Alberta in two years.

Dr. David Strong, Acting South Zone Medical Officer of Health for AHS, says the woman is from southern Alberta where the risk of West Nile virus is greater.

Dr. Strong said Tuesday the woman did not travel outside of Alberta this season, so she was bitten by an infected mosquito in the province.

The woman is experiencing fatigue and muscle pain that could last up to a few months.


West Nile is transferred through mosquitoes that carry the virus, but officials say most individuals who are exposed show no symptoms.

Roughly 20 per cent may show some flu-like symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches and pain.

A very small number of people who are infected could develop neurological symptoms that can cause paralysis, coma or — in rare cases — death.

Health officials recommend people take preventative measures that include using mosquito repellent with deet and wearing long sleeved light coloured shirts and pants.