West Nile virus is being detected earlier this summer than it has in the past, and the province's chief medical officer is urging Ontarians to protect themselves.
The first detected case in Hamilton was found June 25 in a mosquito trap in Dundas, the city's public health department said in a release. That's the earliest in the summer season the mosquito-carried virus has been detected in Hamilton. The previous earliest detection was July 17, in 2012.
A few days after the Dundas case, West Nile was also detected in a mosquito in Durham region. So far this year, there have been no human cases. Last year, Hamilton had 20 human cases.
“The vast majority of our West Nile cases are identified in August and September,” said Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's chief medical officer. “That being said, it's not unheard of and people need to start thinking right now about protecting themselves.”
King said our recent weather patterns - lots of rain and very hot and humid - can encourage growth in mosquito populations.