News release: September 1, 2023
Peel Region confirms first case of West Nile Virus this year
Brampton, ON (September 1, 2023) – Peel Public Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for 2023 in a Mississauga resident.
WNV 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, a mild rash, and swollen lymph glands. In rare cases, persons infected with WNV will develop a more severe form of the disease. People over 50 and those with a compromised immune system are at the highest risk of becoming severely ill when infected with WNV.
Disease activity fluctuates yearly and depends on rainfall and temperature. Peel Public Health monitors WNV activity in the local adult mosquito population across the Region during the summer season. Mosquitoes collected in Peel began to test positive for the WNV beginning in mid-July and WNV activity in mosquitos has been higher than the historical average.
As summer winds down, residents are reminded to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Mosquitos capable of transmitting West Nile virus remain active until the first hard frost.
Dr. Kate Bingham, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Region of Peel.
Residents are encouraged to 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. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe use.
- Avoiding 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.
- 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 fine 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 .
- Registering online to receive email notifications and information about where mosquitos have tested positive for West Nile virus found in Peel.
Visit our website for more information about West Nile virus 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.
Media contactAlysha Archibald
About Peel Region
Peel Region 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.