August 30, 2005

Toronto reports first two West Nile deaths of 2005

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto on Tuesday reported two deaths
related to the West Nile Virus, the first for three years in
Canada's largest city.

The city said a 63-year-old man and a 90-year-old man died
over the weekend from West Nile, which is carried by birds and
transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.

Health Canada's web site shows no deaths from the virus so
far this year, although it lists almost 50 cases, most of them
in three provinces.

In 2002, the first year the West Nile virus was detected in
Toronto, there were 166 cases of the virus and 10 deaths. But
there were no deaths from the virus in either of the following
two years.

Toronto says the West Nile Virus season is at its peak, and
officials urged citizens to try and avoid mosquito bites by
wearing light colored clothing, using mosquito repellent and by
fixing holes in door and window screens.