According to a recent statement issued by the Toronto Public Health (TPH), it confirmed the first-ever case of the West Nile virus documented in the city for this year. While other key details have not yet been released, the TPH verified that the infected individual is an adult.
Akin to dengue and malaria, the West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through a bite from a carrier mosquito. The TPH reported that symptoms of the virus tend to manifest in an individual within two to 14 days after being bitten, which usually include swollen lymph glands, skin rash, body aches, vomiting, nausea, headache, and fever.
Most people tend only to experience the mild effects of the West Nile virus. However, older persons and those with certain medical conditions like kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer, are more susceptible to severe effects of the virus such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, shared that they released the statement as early as now to remind residents of “prevention steps they can take while enjoying the outside to minimize the likelihood of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.”
Besides using insect repellent, de Villa also recommended wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, preferably in light colors, to keep clear from mosquito bites. Moreover, the TPH urged the city’s residents to get rid of stagnant water from waste containers, toys, planters, buckets, and pool covers, among others.
The TPH also strongly recommends contacting a health care provider if symptoms of the West Nile virus are observed to keep clear from its more severe effects.