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August 2, 2006
First bird tests positive for West Nile Virus
Toronto Public Health reported today that an American crow that was collected on July 28, has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The positive result will be confirmed by further testing within the next few days. This is the first positive result for birds in Toronto this year. To date there have been no human cases reported. Four different batches of mosquitoes collected on July 25, have also tested positive for WNV.

The bird was found in the Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue East area. Surveillance for the virus has been increased in this area.

“West Nile Virus has now been found in both mosquitoes and birds in Toronto,” said Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto Associate Medical Officer of Health. “This reinforces the need for the public to continue taking precautions. We are in the time of year when the risk of WNV to people is greatest.”

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
Last year, the first WNV positive results for birds in Toronto occurred on July 18, and for mosquitoes 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

Media contact:
Rishma Govani
Toronto Public Health



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