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July 26, 2005
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus
  
Toronto Public Health today reported that mosquitoes found in the city have
tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). These are the first positive
mosquito results this year.

The positive mosquitoes were found in the Westway and Kipling Avenue area of
Etobicoke. Surveillance for the virus has been increased in this area.

Toronto Public Health is also enhancing its monitoring and treatment activities
across the city. Treatment includes larviciding catch basins and open water.

Two birds, a blue jay and an American crow, have also tested positive for the
virus, but no human cases have been reported this summer. The birds were found
in the same area as the mosquitoes.

"We have confirmed the virus is present in both birds and mosquitoes," said
Danny Kartzalis, Manager of the West Nile Virus program for Toronto Public
Health. "The positive findings reinforce the need for the public to continue
taking precautions to safeguard themselves from West Nile Virus."

In 2004, Toronto Public Health detected its first WNV mosquitoes on July 29. At
that time four birds had also tested positive.

The following personal protection measures are recommended:
- Use a mosquito repellent following the manufacturers' instructions
- Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up whenever possible
- Take extra 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 and most people bitten by
an infected mosquito do not get sick. Some people are at higher risk,
especially those over 55 years of age and persons with compromised immune
systems due to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

For more information visit http://www.toronto.ca/health or call
416-338-7600.

Media contact:
Frank Giorno
Toronto Public Health
416-338-7974



 

 

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