Hamilton confirms first human case of West Nile virus this season

The City of Hamilton has reported its first human case of the West Nile Virus this season.

The Medical Officer of Health has now moved the virus risk level from moderate to high.

This comes after a batch of mosquitoes found in the city tested positive for the virus in July.

Officials say 80 per cent of people infected with the virus will not experience any symptoms.

Around 20 per cent, including the older population and those with weak immune systems, may experience West Nile fever.

In serious cases, inflammation of the brain can occur.

Those who experience symptoms would see them appear up to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Although most people with the virus will have no symptoms, officials have highlighted the  importance of taking precautions:

  • Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET or Icaridin
  • Cover up by wearing light coloured long sleeves and long pants outdoors
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water at least weekly from your property
  • Take extra caution when outside during dusk and dawn or in wooded areas, gardens, or golf course

Both the Toronto Public Health and the Halton Region have also reported human cases of the virus this year.