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August 28, 2003
City's first probable case of West Nile Virus reported
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sheela Basrur, has reported the first
probable human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the City for 2003.

A 30-year-old male visited his family doctor with symptoms of West Nile fever
earlier this week. He was never hospitalized and is recovering at home. Toronto
Public Health is investigating to determine where the man may have acquired the
virus. He is a resident of the Markham and Ellesmere area in the east end.
There have not been any positive WNV mosquito results in that area this year.

"This is the time of year we expect to see human cases of the virus," said Dr.
Basrur. "We continue to urge all residents, regardless of where they live, to
take personal protection measures and to eliminate standing water around their

The majority of individuals with West Nile infection experience no symptoms, or
have mild flu-like symptoms that last a few days.

Toronto Public Health has distributed information to physicians, hospitals and
other health care professionals alerting them to Toronto's case, and reminding
them to watch for signs and symptoms of the illness.

To date, nine mosquito pools and six birds have tested positive for the virus,
mainly in the north and west regions of the city.

Toronto Public Health has an extensive larvicide program in place to reduce the
mosquito population. Staff are increasing mosquito surveillance and continue to
respond to standing water complaints. Public education and community outreach
activities are being conducted throughout the city.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit or
call the information line at 416-338-7600.

Media contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper, Toronto Public Health,



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