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August 2, 2012
West Nile Virus on the rise
  
Toronto Public Health has reports of two probable human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Toronto. An 80-year-old male with probable WNV has been hospitalized. A 32-year-old female with probable WNV is recovering at home. These are the first probable human cases of WNV in Toronto in 2012.

“There are two probable human cases of WNV in Toronto. We are entering into the period of greatest risk for contracting WNV,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health. "TPH continues to proactively undertake larviciding of catch basins across the city to reduce the mosquito population. We encourage everyone to minimize their risk of contracting WNV by taking precautions.”

As the long weekend approaches, TPH reminds everyone to take precautions now and throughout the summer to protect themselves from WNV. Five simple steps:
• Use a mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada and follow product instructions.
• Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes may be present.
• Take precautions, especially in early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are
most active.
• Repair any holes in door and window screens.
• Remove standing water around your home.

In 2011, there were 28 human cases of WNV reported in Toronto. There have been no reported deaths from WNV in Toronto since 2005.

The overall risk of becoming 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.

TPH has 43 mosquito traps throughout the city as part of the WNV surveillance program, and the mosquitoes are collected and tested weekly.

As part of the City of Toronto's WNV prevention program, catch basins and other areas of standing water are treated with larvicide to reduce mosquito breeding. More information on WNV can be found 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 2.7 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 or 416-677-6658
kscheue@toronto.ca

 

 

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