Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Durham Region

A human case of West Nile virus has been reported in Durham – first human case reported in the region and only the second in Ontario this year.

WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on the blood of a bird that carries the virus. The disease is not passed from person to person or from bird to person.

Eight groups of mosquitos have tested positive in Durham so far this summer.

“While the overall risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is low, it’s still important for everyone to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” explained Laura Freeland, a manager of health protection with the Durham Region Health Department.

Most people who contract the virus will experience mild illness including fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash on the chest, stomach or back. More serious symptoms can include muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, numbness and sudden sensitivity to light. Symptoms usually develop between three and 15 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.

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