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September 5, 2003
West Nile Virus risk continues despite cooler weather
  
Toronto Public Health is reporting increased signs of West Nile Virus in birds
and mosquitoes this week, indicating an increased risk to residents.

The number of traps found with positive mosquitoes increased from nine to 19.
Three more crows tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 11. As
reported earlier, three probable human cases of West Nile Virus have been
identified in Toronto. None of the cases were hospitalized.

"Last year an increase in positive birds and mosquitoes preceded an increase in
human cases of the virus. The weather may be getting cooler, but as long as
mosquitoes are active, the risk is present," said Dr. Karl Kabasele, Associate
Medical Officer of Health.

A number of positive birds and mosquitoes have been found in the west end of
Toronto. A map of this activity is on the City's web site at
http://www.toronto.ca/health.

"We want residents to be aware of increased West Nile activity in this area,
but residents throughout the city are urged to take precautions," said Dr.
Kabasele. At this time last year Toronto had 71 human cases of the virus.

Toronto Public Health is distributing notices to the public that the risk of
contracting the virus remains as long as mosquitoes are active. Information is
being sent to social service agencies, including doctors' offices, community
centres, and libraries.

The City of Toronto 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.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit http://www.toronto.ca/health, or
call the information line at
416-338-7600.

Media contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper,
Toronto Public Health,
416-338-7873



 

 

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