News release: September 17, 2021
Peel confirms first probable human case of West Nile virus this year
Mississauga, ON (September 17, 2021) – Peel Public Health has received confirmation of the first probable human case of West Nile virus in a Peel resident this year. West Nile virus is an infection transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Peel Public Health reminds all residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to remove standing water where WNV-carrying mosquitoes can breed.
While the risk of getting West Nile virus in Peel is low, this case reinforces the need for all residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites when outdoors and to remove mosquito breeding sites from their properties. Mosquitoes will remain active until the first frost.
Dr. Lawrence Loh, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel.
West Nile virus symptoms usually develop between two and 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Most people who contract the disease will show no symptoms, and approximately 20 per cent will experience mild flu-like symptoms. In very rare cases (fewer than 1 per cent) the infection can cause more severe symptoms including severe headache or confusion.
Residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
- Applying an approved insect repellent containing an ingredient effective against mosquitoes, such as DEET or icaridin, to exposed skin and clothing. It is important to read and follow the manufacturers' directions for safe use.
- Avoiding areas with high mosquito populations and taking extra precautions between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and at any time in or near shady, wooded areas.
- Wearing light-coloured, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks to protect exposed skin.
- Making sure all window and door screens fit securely and are free of tears and holes.
- Ensuring that openings to rain barrels are always covered with a screen mesh.
- Removing or draining 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.
Register online at https://www.peelregion.ca/health/vbd/ to receive email notifications and information about where mosquitos have tested positive for West Nile virus found in Peel.
For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Vector-borne diseases page or call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Caledon residents can call toll free at 905-584-2216.
Region of Peel
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.