Toronto mystery illness kills four more

Oct. 5, 2005 at 6:53 AM
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TORONTO, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A mysterious respiratory illness has killed four more residents of a Toronto nursing home, bringing the total number of deaths to 10.

Two new cases of the illness were discovered at the Seven Oaks Home for the Aged on Monday, but the city's medical officer of health, Dr. David McKeown, said the outbreak appears to be subsiding.

"We're confident the outbreak is under control," he said. "As far as we can tell, there's nothing unusual about an outbreak of respiratory illness in a long-term care facility."

The four new fatalities include three women, aged 82, 92 and 94, as well as a 92-year-old man.

Since the illness was discovered Sept. 25 at the facility, 70 residents, 12 employees and two visitors have been affected by the outbreak, and 40 residents have been hospitalized, the Toronto Star reported. The home is not accepting new patients and is closed to visitors.

Doctors have ruled out influenza, avian flu and SARS and say it's possible they may never be able to identify the exact bug that caused the illnesses.

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