News Release: First Human Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed

For Immediate Release 
Friday, October 13, 2023 | 10:00 a.m. | Essex County

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has reported its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in an adult resident in 2023. While the risk of getting infected in Windsor-Essex County (WEC) is currently low, this positive human case is a reminder for WEC residents to continue to protect themselves, as certain types of mosquitoes spread WNV. Most people with WNV never develop symptoms and will not know that they have the virus. Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph glands. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe disease. Anyone concerned about any symptoms should contact their health care provider.

Here are some simple tips to help protect individuals from mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET, Icaridin, or other approved ingredients on clothing as well as exposed skin. Always read and follow label directions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when outdoors. Light-coloured clothing is best as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
  • Limit the time you spend outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove any standing water in places such bird baths, buckets, old tires, pet water dishes and gutters around your property.
  • Make sure that door and window screens fit securely and are free of holes.
  • Call 311 or your local by-law enforcement for standing water observed in your community.

“Even though the temperatures are getting cooler, it is still important for everyone to eliminate any standing water around their home and take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites during the fall months”, said Dr. Aloosh, Medical Officer of Health, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

For more information on WNV, please visit the WECHU's WNV page. For mosquito-borne disease surveillance data, please visit Data is updated every Friday.