With the wet and rainy summer that Ontario has been having the past few months, it comes as no surprise that mosquitoes are plaguing the province. However, while their bites usually just cause a small irritation, the region of Peel is warning that mosquitoes carrying West Nile have just been discovered in Brampton. This is the first case of West Nile that has been discovered this year.
On Tuesday, the region of Peel released a public announcement that residents of the area of Brampton should use extra caution to protect themselves from mosquito bites for the rest of this mosquito season.
After conducting tests on mosquitos that were collected from the area of Mclaughlin Rd. S. and Steeles Ave. W. researchers discovered that some of these mosquitos did test positive for West Nile, which means other mosquitos in this area may also be carrying this disease.
Since the Region of Peel has experienced the first positive test of the year, they are warning residents of the simple tasks that they can do to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Some of these tasks include removing all standing water from your property, apply insect repellent on skin and clothing, avoid areas with a high mosquito population (woods, shaded areas) and make sure all windows and screens are securely closed.
As of July 20, there have been no reports of the West Nile virus in humans in the Brampton area or the rest of Ontario. However, the disease can be transferred to a human if they are bitten by an infected mosquito.
The region of Peel assured that the risk of acquiring the West Nile virus is low, but residents should still take extra precautions, as it can happen.
According to Health Canada, 70 to 80 percent of humans who get the infection have no symptoms. Yet, symptoms can include infection, fever, headaches, and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms can start to appear two to fifteen days after infection.
While it is rare, some more serious symptoms can also include loss of consciousness, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
Humans are most at risk of getting infected with West Nile between April and September.