Human cases of West Nile in Toronto highest in a decade
As of August 30, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has the highest number of reported human West Nile Virus (WNV) cases in the city in the last 10 years. TPH anticipates more reported cases in the coming weeks. In 2002, TPH had 163 reported cases and in 2003 there were 44 cases.
“Forty-six human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported to Toronto Public Health this summer. While most people infected with WNV will recover, the virus can have serious health impacts – especially for seniors and those with compromised immune systems. In rare cases it can be fatal,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “I urge everyone to take precautions to avoid being infected with the virus.”
TPH continues to take proactive measures to reduce WNV risk:
? TPH has 43 mosquito traps around the city and tests mosquitoes for WNV on a weekly basis.
? TPH has completed its fourth round of larviciding in 120,000 catch basins around Toronto to reduce the mosquito population.
Everyone is urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
? Use Health Canada-approved mosquito repellent, cover up or go indoors when mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.
? Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.