Toronto’s first West Nile virus case in 2018

Toronto reports first human case of West Nile virus in 2018

Toronto Public Health has received laboratory confirmation that an adult resident in Toronto has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first human case testing positive for West Nile virus in Toronto for 2018. The individual was hospitalized for their illness but is recovering at home. West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“While the risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus in Toronto is very low, now is a good time to remind residents of the ways they can protect themselves from mosquito bites and help reduce the risk of infection,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

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.

West Nile virus symptoms usually develop between two and 15 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph glands. If you or a family member has concerns about any symptoms, please contact your health care provider.

In 2017, Toronto Public Health reported 26 lab-confirmed human cases of West Nile virus.

More information is available at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at on Facebook at

— Brian Kellow