Toronto mosquitoes positive for West Nile

Mosquitoes in Toronto have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the city's public health department reported on Friday.

Mosquitoes in Toronto have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, the city’s public health department reported on Friday.

It is Toronto’s first positive result for West Nile Virus this year.

Toronto Public Health has 43 mosquito traps throughout the city and sends mosquitoes for laboratory testing every week.

"The positive test result is a good reminder for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to reduce mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water around your home," said Dr. Howard Shapiro, associate medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health.

The virus was first discovered in Toronto in 2001, and in 2002 there were 163 cases and 11 deaths.

There have been no deaths in Toronto from West Nile since 2005, and only one human case since 2010. 

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, prevention against bites is the best protection.

Toronto Public Health recommends the following measures to prevent bites:

  • Use mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up when in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Take extra precautions, especially in the early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove standing water around your home and property.