The Saskatchewan Health Authority and the City of Saskatoon are advising residents in Saskatoon and surrounding areas to take precautions to lower their chance of contracting West Nile virus infection.
The virus has been confirmed in mosquitoes from two traps located within Saskatoon city limits. Samples are sent by the City of Saskatoon to the Ministry of Health every week for testing. The positive test indicates residents in Saskatoon are now at a greater risk of infection, especially during the hours of dusk and dawn when mosquito activity levels are at their peak.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The main species that carries WNV in Saskatchewan is Culex tarsalis. With the warmer conditions that began last week, there has been a sharp increase in the number of WNV infected mosquitoes in the province.
Typically, the Culex tarsalis mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are active from mid-July to the end of August.
Most people who get infected with West Nile virus will experience no symptoms, or only mild ones like fever, headaches and body aches. However, there is a small chance of developing a more serious illness called West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease. This disease can lead to inflammation of the brain and even death.
To reduce your risk of infection, residents are advised to take the following precautions to reduce infection from West Nile virus throughout the rest of the summer.
The City of Saskatoon would like to remind residents that while the numbers of Culex tarsalis, the species of mosquito known for being a carrier of West Nile Virus, have remained low throughout the 2018 mosquito season, it is still important to take the necessary protective measures to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
For more information on West Nile Virus, please visit the City of Saskatoon’s website at
saskatoon.ca or the Government of Saskatchewan website at