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August 3, 2005
Toronto reports first probable West Nile Virus case
Toronto Public Health is reporting the city's first human case of West Nile
Virus (WNV) in 2005.

A 48 year-old woman who complained of fever, a rash and fatigue has tested
positive for WNV and has the non-neurological form of the disease. She has not
been hospitalized and is now recovering at home. In 2004, the first human case
was reported August 23.

In addition, 20 positive mosquito pools have been detected across the city.
Eight birds have also tested positive for WNV.

"The message is loud and clear," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical
Officer of Health, "West Nile Virus has arrived in Toronto and it's important
to take precautions."

Dr. McKeown said human cases are expected at this time of year. But this
summer's unusually hot weather may have accelerated the arrival of the first
human case.

The following personal protective measures are recommended:

  • use a mosquito repellent following the manufacturer’s instructions
  • wear light-coloured clothing and cover up in areas where mosquitoes are
  • take these precautions especially in early morning and early evening,
    when mosquitoes are most active
  • remove standing water around your home.

The overall risk of becoming infected with WNV is low. Some 80 per cent of
people bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick and less than one per
cent become seriously ill. Some people are at higher risk, especially those
over 55 years of age and those with compromised immune systems due to illnesses
such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

For more information visit or call

Media contact:

Frank Giorno
Toronto Public Health



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