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August 2, 2013
Toronto reports its first human case of West Nile Virus
  
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reporting Toronto's first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) this year. A 68-year-old male became infected with WNV in mid July and is recovering at home. He was never admitted to hospital for the infection.

“Now that we have seen our first confirmed case of West Nile Virus, we are entering into the period of greatest risk for contracting West Nile Virus," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s Associate Medical Officer of Health. "As we approach the long weekend, I encourage everyone to minimize their risk of contracting West Nile Virus by taking precautions."

Public Health reminds everyone to reduce their risk of West Nile Virus now and throughout the summer by protecting themselves from mosquito bites:
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks and a hat when outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use insect repellent approved by Health Canada and follow product instructions.
- Remove standing water from your property, where mosquitoes can breed.
- Maintain screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

In 2012, Toronto had a total of 94 human cases, second only to 2002, when there were 163 cases. In 2011, there were 28 cases.

The risk of being infected with WNV is low. Close to 80 per cent of people infected with WNV do not get sick and less than one per cent become seriously ill. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, body aches, stiff neck, confusion and sudden sensitivity to light.

Each summer, Toronto Public Health sets 43 mosquito traps throughout the city as part of the WNV surveillance program. Mosquitoes are collected and tested weekly. To date, four WNV-positive mosquito pools have been found this year. As part of the City of Toronto's WNV mosquito reduction program, catch basins and other areas of standing water are treated with larvicide to reduce mosquito breeding.

More information about West Nile Virus is available at http://www.toronto.ca/health/westnile or by calling 416-338-7600.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Media Contact
Kris Scheuer
Toronto Public Health
416-338-8020, 311 (weekend)
kscheue@toronto.ca

 

 

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