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July 15, 2011
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus
Toronto Public Health received a laboratory report today indicating that mosquitoes in Toronto have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first WNV positive result for Toronto this year.

“The positive test result is a good reminder for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to reduce mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water around your home,” said Dr. Howard Shapiro, Associate Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health.

Toronto Public Health has 43 mosquito traps throughout the city and sends mosquitoes for laboratory testing every week. Larvicides are also used in catch basins throughout the city to reduce the mosquito population.

The number of people contracting WNV has declined in recent years. The virus was first discovered in Toronto in 2001, and in 2002 there were 163 cases and 11 deaths. There have been no deaths in Toronto from WNV since 2005, and only one human case since 2010.

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, prevention against bites is the best protection. The following measures are recommended:

- Use mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada.

- Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up when in areas where mosquitoes are present.

- Take extra precautions, especially in early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.

- Remove standing water around your home and property.

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

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 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
Rishma Govani
Toronto Public Health



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