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Ministry of Health

West Nile Virus

What is West Nile virus?

West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus. In nature it is normally passed between mosquitoes and birds. The usual way for humans to get WNV is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become carriers after biting infected birds.

Most people infected with WNV will experience no symptoms at all. About 20% of those infected will develop mild flu-like symptoms lasting a week or less.

If you are concerned you may have symptoms of West Nile virus, call HealthLink BC. Translation services are available in 130 languages.

Call HealthLink BC Toll-free in BC 8-1-1
For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance Toll-free in BC (TTY) 7-1-1
When you call, you will be asked for your Personal Health Number on your BC CareCard or your BC Services Card number.
Visit HealthLink BC online at

What is the province and public health officials doing to prepare for West Nile virus?

British Columbia is taking a co-ordinated approach to West Nile virus, and a provincial strategy has been developed. It is being led by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Mosquito Control Programs

Authorization for local mosquito control programs are no longer done though pesticide use permit held by the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport. Authorization for local mosquito control programs are now done through integrated pest management plans at a local level. For information on, or access to integrated pest management plans in your area, contact your local health authority.


West Nile Virus Control Regulation

Learn More about West Nile Virus

Or, contact your local health authority or public health unit.