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September 2, 2005
Toronto records third West Nile Virus death
Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, today reported the
city's third West Nile Virus-related death.

A 57-year-old woman from Etobicoke died August 29 in hospital after becoming
ill in mid-August. There are 21 human cases reported to date in Toronto,
including three deaths.

Dr. McKeown reported that, of the 21 cases, most of the serious illness has
occurred among older persons and there have not been any cases in children.

"These deaths are tragic, but the overall risk to the general population from
West Nile Virus remains low," Dr. McKeown said. "The end of the summer is the
period of highest risk and we continue to recommend that residents take care to
avoid mosquito bites."

Only about 20 per cent of people who become infected with West Nile Virus will
experience any symptoms. Most individuals who experience illness due to West
Nile Virus will have mild symptoms such as fever, headaches and body aches that
may be accompanied by skin rash and swollen glands.

Less than one per cent of those infected become seriously ill with symptoms
that include stiff neck, confusion, severe headache and sudden sensitivity to
light. Those over the age of 55 and people with compromised immune systems are
at higher risk of serious illness.

Residents are reminded to:

- take precautions in the early morning and evening, when mosquitoes are most
- wear light-coloured clothing, long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks
- use repellant containing DEET when outdoors in areas with mosquitoes
- repair any holes in door and window screens
- eliminate mosquito breeding sites around the home.

For more information about West Nile Virus, residents can call 416-338-7600 or
visit our Web site at

Media contact:
Frank Giorno,
Toronto Public Health,



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