Hamilton sees first human case of West Nile Virus for 2020

The City of Hamilton has announced that the first local human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been found for 2020, with the Medical Officer of Health now moving the local risk from moderate to high.

It was just a month ago that the city found mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus locally, with Burlington seeing its first human case of the virus confirmed shortly after.

Roughly 80 per cent of people who become infected with West Nile Virus will exhibit no symptoms, but older adults and those who are immunocompromised may develop West Nile fever. In rare cases, those infected with WNV may see inflammation of the brain or of the brain’s lining.

Symptoms, if any, would show up anywhere from 2 to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Locals can mitigate their risk of West Nile Virus by using mosquito repellent containing DEET or Icaridin while outside, particularly at dawn or dusk; removing standing water from your property to reduce mosquito breeding sites; and avoiding areas where mosquitoes are known to be present such as wooded areas, gardens, and golf courses.

The risk of West Nile infections will drop as the winter months approach and heavy frosts reduce the number of mosquitoes, according to Dr. Bart Harvey, Associate Medical Officer of Health.

Read the city’s full statement here.

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