West Nile virus is a virus mainly transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds which carry the virus.
Most people infected with the virus have no symptoms or they have flu-like symptoms. Sometimes though, the virus can cause severe illness, resulting in hospitalization and even death so it is important to know the symptoms of illness related to infection and how to minimize your risk, especially if virus activity is reported in an area near you.
The Public Health Agency of Canada coordinates national surveillance and response to West Nile virus. The Agency works closely with Health Canada on the safety of the blood supply and on providing information and health advice to First Nations groups and federal employees. The Public Health Agency also works with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and other government departments on the national response to West Nile virus.