Aug. 13, 2010, 8:30 a.m.
By: The Canadian Press
TORONTO - Toronto Public Health says lab reports received today show mosquitoes in the city have tested positive for West Nile virus.
Officials say it's the first positive result for the virus in Toronto this year.
Mosquitoes with the virus have also been found in other parts of Ontario, including Windsor and Peel Region.
Although the risk of becoming infected with the virus is low, it can lead to serious illness.
Toronto Public Health has 43 mosquito traps throughout the city and sends mosquitoes for laboratory testing every week.
Larvicides are also used in catch basins throughout the city to reduce the mosquito population.
“The positive test result is a good reminder for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to reduce mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water around your home,” said Dan Kartzalis, who manages the West Nile program in Toronto.
The last human case of the virus in Toronto was in 2007.
Health officials say preventing bites is the best protection and they recommend the use of mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada.
People should wear light-coloured clothing and cover up when in areas where mosquitoes are present. Extra precautions are advised in early morning and early evening when the bugs are most active.