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August 23, 2004
Toronto reports first probable West Nile Virus case
Toronto Public Health is reporting the City's first probable human case of West
Nile Virus (WNV) in 2004.

A 50-year-old female resident visited her doctor with complaints of symptoms of
WNV early last week. She has not been hospitalized and is now recovering at
home. Public Health staff are investigating the possibility she may have
acquired the virus during an out-of-province holiday trip.

Dr. Michael Finkelstein, Associate Medical Officer of Health, said this is the
time of year when human cases begin to appear. "We are expecting to see cases
at this time of year, but we are hopeful there will be few of them. The
majority of people who are infected show no symptoms, or experience a mild
flu-like illness that lasts a few days. We continue to urge the public to take
precautions to reduce the risk."

Although the weather has been cooler and the days are getting shorter,
mosquitoes are still present and the following precautions are recommended:

· Use insect repellent containing 10 per cent DEET or less.
· Wear light-colour clothing and cover up whenever possible.
· Take precautions outdoors, especially in early morning and early evening,
when mosquitoes are most active.
· Remove standing water around the home.

To date, Toronto has reported nine birds and six mosquito pools testing
positive for WNV. The City is continuing its larvicide program to reduce
mosquito breeding, and its bird and mosquito WNV surveillance program.

For more information, visit the City's Web site, or call

Media contact:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



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