First Human Case of West Nile Virus Reported in Brant for 2020

Published on: September 18, 2020

BRANTFORD, ON – The Brant County Health Unit has been notified of a Brant resident who has tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).

While most people do not become sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito, WNV can cause severe illness in others. Seniors and people with underlying illnesses are urged to be cautious, as they are more likely to develop the illness.

Residents should take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes, especially when outdoors from early evening to morning, when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas:

  • Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
  • Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
  • Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
  • Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET.

“August and September are the months we are most likely to see WNV activity in mosquitoes,” said Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Brant County Health Unit. “Human cases are most likely to occur during these months. The risk of anyone having serious illness is low, however prevention is key and people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Brant had no positive cases of WNV in 2019 and five cases in 2018. A batch of mosquitoes collected last month in the City of Brantford had tested positive for WNV.

To report standing water or for more information about WNV, please call the Brant County Health Unit at 519-753-4937 ext. 470.