The first local human cases of West Nile virus this year have been reported.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says two people in their area, which includes the City of Guelph as well as Wellington and Dufferin counties, have tested positive for the disease.

It is not uncommon for this part of southern Ontario to see a low number of human cases of the disease per year. In humans, West Nile can cause flu-like symptoms. More serious cases can lead to death or permanent disability.

Health authorities warn that the virus will remain active over the next few weeks.

The best way for people to protect themselves against West Nile is to minimize their risk of mosquito bites by doing things like wearing light-coloured clothing and long-sleeved shirts, and using mosquito repellents containing DEET or icaridin.

Other precautions include staying indoors during dawn and dusk hours, and removing pools of standing water.

Mosquitoes are the creatures more often infected with West Nile.

Mosquito pools in Waterloo Region, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Huron-Perth and Grey-Bruce have all tested positive for the virus this year.

It has also been found in a horse in Bruce County and a bird in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.