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Toronto number of West Nile cases highest in a decade

File photo of a mosquito. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/James Gathany

Toronto has 46 reported human West Nile Virus (WNV) cases, the highest number in a decade, the city’s public health department says.

So far this year, there were 18 confirmed and 28 probable human WNV cases for a total of 46. In 2002, there were 44 human cases.

It’s anticipated that more cases will be reported in the coming weeks, public health says.

More than half of the 82 human WNV cases in Ontario were in Toronto this year.

There have been no deaths from the illness since 2005.

While the overall risk of contracting the virus is low — about 80 per cent of people bitten by an infected mosquito don’t get sick and less than one per cent becomes seriously ill — local health officials are urging people to take precautions, which include:

•    Use mosquito repellent approved by Health Canada.
•    Wear light-coloured clothing and cover up when in areas where mosquitoes are present.
•    Take extra precautions, especially in early morning and early evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
•    Remove standing water around your home and property.

Click here for more information on West Nile, or call 416-338-7600.