Mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus in southern Ontario

The mosquito was found in a trap at Mclaughlin Rd S. and Steeles Ave W. area in Brampton.

A mosquito testing positive for West Nile virus has been identified in southern Ontario's Peel region, in the City of Brampton.

“The Region of Peel - Public Health monitors West Nile virus activity through 33 mosquito traps set across the cities of Mississauga, Brampton and the Town of Caledon," Lawrence Loh, Associate Medical Officer of Health at the Region of Peel, said in a statement.

"Mosquitoes from the traps are collected and tested weekly from June to September. Public Health staff also survey public areas for stagnant water that may be serving as mosquito breeding sites and treat identified sites with larvicide.”

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can be passed to humans through the bite of an infected insect.

There have been no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Ontario so far in 2019.

Symptoms of West Nile virus can range from mild to severe, according to the Government of Canada. Up to 80 per cent of people who are infected present no symptoms.

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Mild symptoms that can include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Body aches

  • Mild rash

  • Swollen lymph glands

Symptoms typically appear 2 to 15 days post-infection.

Anyone infected with the virus is at risk of developing more severe health complications, although this only happens in less than one per cent of infected patients.

If you suspect you have a West Nile virus infection, contact a health care provider immediately.


Toronto Public Health recommends the following prevention tips to protect residents from mosquito bites:

  • Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors.

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET or icaridin and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting time (dusk and dawn) by using mosquito repellent and wearing protective clothing.

  • Remove standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed.

  • Ensure your home has tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.

Sources: Government of Canada | Peel Region | City of Toronto