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October 27, 2009

Toronto Public Health issues statement on death of 13 year-old from H1N1
Toronto Public Health today confirmed the death of a 13 year-old boy from H1N1 on Monday October 26, 2009. This is the first reported H1N1-related death in Toronto this fall.

“It is always a tragedy when a child dies,” said Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto. “As a parent and as a health care worker, I extend my sympathies to the boy’s family, his friends at school and his hockey community.”

Those who had contact with this boy are not at higher risk of contracting H1N1 said Dr. McKeown.

“Most flu illness is mild. However, severe illness and death are part of this pandemic, and vaccination is the best way to protect the population, especially those who are vulnerable,” Dr. McKeown said. “The H1N1 vaccine is 90 per cent effective at preventing illness.”

H1N1 cases are increasing in Toronto. For this reason, Toronto Public Health is now expanding previously scheduled City of Toronto staff vaccination clinics to include individuals from priority groups. Information on hours and locations will be posted at

Priority groups include:
• People with chronic medical conditions under the age of 65
• Healthy children from six months to five years old
• Care providers and household contacts of persons at high risk who cannot be immunized or may not respond to vaccines
• Health care workers
• Pregnant women - adjuvanted vaccine is available for women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. Women less than 20 weeks pregnant and who do not have an underlying medical condition may wish to wait until unadjuvanted vaccine is available.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media Contact:
Susan Sperling
Toronto Public Health
Tel: 416.338.7974



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