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Toronto mosquitoes have West Nile virus

Mosquitoes in Toronto have tested positive for the West Nile virus, according to Toronto Public Health.

“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,” Dr. Howard Shapiro, associate medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health, said in a release Friday.

The agency has 43 mosquito traps throughout the city and sends mosquitoes for lab testing every week. A Friday report showed some mosquitoes have West Nile.

The number of people contracting the virus has dropped in recent years. It was first discovered in Toronto in 2001, and there were 163 reported cases with 11 deaths in 2002.

There have been no deaths in Toronto from West Nile since 2005, and only one human case since 2010.

To prevent bites, Toronto Public Health recommends that people use mosquito repellents, wear light-coloured clothes and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

It also suggests residents remove standing water from their homes and property and take extra precautions early in the mornings and evenings when mosquitoes are most active.