No human cases of West Nile reported in Manitoba this year: province

Manitoba experienced a low West Nile virus season this year, with no human cases being reported by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, according to a provincial spokesperson.

The spokesperson said this is in line with what’s been happening across Canada and the United States, with both countries seeing relatively low years for West Nile.

According to the Manitoba government website, there were 32 reported human cases in 2018 and five in 2017.

The provincial spokesperson said Manitoba also experienced low West Nile numbers – similar to what’s been seen this year – in 2010 and 2011.

They note the number of West Nile cases are determined by environmental factors, such as temperatures and mosquito populations, and Manitoba experienced low numbers due to this year’s cool spring and dry conditions.

The province reminds residents tat 80 per cent of those exposed to the virus will not develop or have very mild symptoms. Though exposure to West Nile is thought to give immunity, it can fade as time goes on. The virus has been present in Manitoba since 2002, but residents should not expect they are immune and should continue take precautions.