Community NewsToronto

Toronto Public Health Advises Precautions Against West Nile Virus This Summer

Toronto, ON – As mosquito season gets underway, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reminding residents to take necessary precautions to protect themselves from West Nile virus (WNV), a potentially serious illness transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

In 2023, Toronto reported 23 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus. With the risk still present, TPH emphasizes the importance of preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Protective Measures Residents can take several steps to reduce their risk of infection:

  • Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for light-coloured clothing, including long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially when outdoors.
  • Use Insect Repellent: Apply insect repellent approved by Health Canada. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. For more details, visit Health Canada’s insect repellent guide.
  • Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours: Mosquitoes are most active during dusk and dawn. Cover up or stay indoors during these times.
  • Ensure Screens are Secure: Make sure that windows and doors have tightly-fitting screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
  • Eliminate Standing Water: Remove standing water where mosquitoes can breed, such as in pool covers, buckets, planters, toys, and waste bins.
  • Maintain Landscaping: Keep grass cut short and trim bushes and trees around properties.

Symptoms and High-Risk Groups Symptoms of WNV usually manifest between two and 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. They can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen lymph glands

Older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness. TPH advises anyone experiencing severe symptoms or concerns to contact their primary healthcare provider promptly.

Mosquito Surveillance TPH actively monitors the mosquito population using 22 traps strategically placed across the city. These traps are checked weekly for WNV. In 2023, 83 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus, underscoring the ongoing risk.

Stay Informed For more information on West Nile virus and additional tips on how to protect yourself and your family, visit the City of Toronto’s website at

By staying informed and taking these preventive measures, Toronto residents can enjoy a safer and healthier summer.


Kelly Deschamps is the dedicated City Hall Reporter, bringing forth the pulse of municipal affairs with precision and clarity. With an astute eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories that shape urban life, Deschamps delivers comprehensive coverage of local governance. For inquiries or feedback, contact Kelly at

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