Toronto - Toronto Public Health reported today that mosquitoes found in the city have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first WNV positive results this year. So far, no human cases of WNV have been reported this summer in Toronto, and no birds have tested positive for WNV.

“The positive mosquito results reinforce the need for the public to continue taking precautions to safeguard themselves from West Nile virus,” said Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s Associate Medical Officer of Health.

The risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is greatest in August and September.

The following protective measures are recommended:

- 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 early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active
- remove standing water around your home and property to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

While the mosquitoes were collected at one location, the test results indicate that the virus is present in Toronto. Last year, mosquitoes in Toronto first tested positive for WNV on July 25.

The overall risk of becoming infected with WNV is low. While anyone can get sick from WNV, the risk of severe illness increases with age. People with compromised immune systems due to illnesses or immune suppressing treatments are also at higher risk of severe illness from WNV.

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