First human case of West Nile Virus reported in Hamilton


Published September 9, 2022 at 11:09 am

The first human case in 2022 was confirmed this week, according to a Sept. 9 press release from the City of Hamilton.

The Hamilton Medical Officer of Health has moved the West Nile Virus risk from moderate to high.

“Residents are reminded to protect themselves against mosquito bites and to remove standing water from private property to prevent mosquito breeding,” the press release notes.

In July, a batch of mosquitos tested positive for the virus in Hamilton.

Four out of five people infected with West Nile Virus will have no symptoms (approximately 80 per cent).

But others, including older adults or those with weakened immune systems, may experience West Nile fever (less than 20 per cent) or they may develop more severe illness including inflammation of the brain or the lining of the brain (less than 1 per cent).

For any infection, if symptoms do occur, they appear two to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

To avoid being bitten by mosquitos:

  • Use a mosquito repellent (bug spray) containing DEET or Icaridin.
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes are known to be present or cover up by wearing light coloured long sleeves and long pants when in mosquito areas such as wooded areas, on the golf course, or in the garden, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water at least weekly from your property. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in very shallow standing water. If you remove the standing water, they cannot lay eggs.

The City of Hamilton continually assesses the risk for human illness as part of a comprehensive West Nile Virus surveillance and prevention program.

The city is completing its third and final round of larviciding treatments on city street catch basins, in addition to ongoing treatment of surface waters on public land.

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