Skip to main content

Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka

The year's first human case of West Nile has been confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) says recent laboratory results confirmed a positive human case of West Nile virus (WNv), prompting health experts to advise residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

The virus can be transmitted to humans via mosquito bite if the mosquito has initially bitten an infected bird.

The health unit says residents should use an approved insect repellent, wear light-coloured clothing that covers arms and legs in areas where mosquitoes are present, and try to stay indoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Most people won't become sick if bitten by a mosquito, but the health unit warns that WNv can cause severe illness in some individuals.

Symptoms typically start between two to 14 days after being bitten, and can include fever, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and a sudden sensitivity to light, and in very rare cases, serious neurological illness.

Last month, the SMDHU said lab testing confirmed two dead birds, one in Oro-Medonte and the other in Bracebridge, were infected with the virus. The health unit said it was the first evidence of WNv reaching the region this summer.

Between June and the end of October, the City of Barrie works alongside the SMDHU, conducting a larviciding program to control larval mosquitoes to prevent their development into vectors of WNv.

The health unit did not provide details about where the individual contracted the virus.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of WNv should seek medical advice. Top Stories

Ontario doctors disciplined over Israel-Gaza protests

A number of doctors are facing scrutiny for publicizing their opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. Critics say expressing their political views could impact patient care, while others say that it is being used as an excuse for censorship.

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.

Live updates

Live updates Hamas frees 10 Israeli women and children, 4 Thai nationals

Ten Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals held captive in Gaza were freed by Hamas, and Israel followed with the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners Thursday. It was the latest exchange of hostages for prisoners under a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed by Hamas in a separate release.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected