Brampton resident first person to test positive for West Nile in Peel this year

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Published September 21, 2022 at 3:20 pm

mosquito
Photo by Jimmy Chan

A Brampton resident has the first confirmed case of the West Nile Virus for 2022.

Peel Public Health announced the first human case of the West Nile Virus in a press release on Wednesday (Sept. 21).


This comes after the West Nile Virus was found in mosquitos collected from three traps near the Brampton intersections of Chinguacousy Road/Williams Parkway, Hurontario Street/Steeles Avenue, and The Gore Road/Cottrelle Boulevard in early August.

The chances of getting the virus decreases during the fall but Peel’s associate medical officer of health suggests residents should take precautions.

“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,” said Dr. Nicholas Brandon, associate medical officer of health at the Region of Peel.

“Before the first frost of fall arrives, residents should remove standing water sources where mosquitoes can breed.”

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, people will have 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 the virus.

West Nile Virus disease activity fluctuates yearly and is dependent on rainfall and temperature.

With lower than usual rainfall this year, there are fewer adult mosquitos testing positive for West Nile Virus.

Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent containing an ingredient effective against mosquitoes, such as DEET or icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing.
  • 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.
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