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July 31, 2006
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus
Toronto Public Health reported today that mosquitoes found in the city have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). These are the first WNV positive results this year. So far no human cases of WNV have been reported this summer in Toronto, and no birds have tested positive for WNV.

“These mosquito testing results send a loud and clear message,” said Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s Associate Medical Officer of Health. “West Nile Virus is back in Toronto and it’s important to take precautions to avoid becoming sick.” Dr. Shapiro said people in Toronto are most at risk of becoming infected with West Nile Virus in August and September.

The following personal protective measures are recommended:
  • Use a mosquito repellent, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Take these precautions especially in early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove standing water around your home and property.

The mosquitoes were collected on July 25 in four different areas of the city near:
  • Landsdowne Avenue and Davenport Road
  • Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue West
  • Bayview Avenue and Finch Avenue East
  • Markham Road and Sheppard Avenue East

This recent collection of mosquitoes indicates that the risk of infection with WNV is increasing across the entire city.

Last year mosquitoes in Toronto first tested positive for WNV on July 21.

The overall risk of becoming infected with WNV is low. While anyone can get WNV, those over 55 years of age and people with compromised immune systems due to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease are at higher risk of severe illness.

For more information visit: or call 416-338-7600.

Media contact:

Rishma Govani
Toronto Public Health



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