TORONTO – Toronto mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) for the first time in 2014, according to Toronto Public Health (TPH).
“The positive test result is a good reminder for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to remove standing water from property where mosquitoes can breed,” said Elaine Pacheco, Healthy Environments Manager for Toronto Public Health in a release.
Mosquitoes are submitted for lab tests every week; blood-sucking insects tested positive for the virus in Halton and Peel two weeks ago. The agency said no human cases of the virus have yet been reported to TPH in 2014. Last year there were 12 human cases of West Nile in Toronto.
West Nile Virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bite of a mosquito that’s been infected by feeding on the blood of birds carrying the virus. Most people who become infected don’t show any symptoms; some show flu-like symptoms like body aches, fever, nausea, vomiting and a rash; in rare cases it can cause severe illness resulting in hospitalization or death.
Toronto Public Health suggests the following to avoid mosquito bites:
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