(The fascinating part of this is that right now the disease detectives (epidemiologists) are at work figuring out the who, what, where, when, and how of this disease…the entire process is really complex and super cool…cd)
Ten people dead as mystery virus hits Toronto home
By Matthew Chung Tue Oct 4, 6:11 PM ET
TORONTO (Reuters) – Ten people have died from a mystery viral outbreak at a Toronto nursing home and another 40 are in hospital, public health officials said on Tuesday as they raced to contact anyone who visited the home recently.
The outbreak, an unidentified respiratory virus, has sparked memories of the
SARS outbreak two years ago that killed 44 people in Canada’s largest city.
But health officials said the latest outbreak, which was first detected on September 25, is under control although they warned that more deaths could be expected.
Four new deaths were added to the toll on Tuesday, all of them elderly residents at the Seven Oaks Home for the Aged. All of the dead were aged between 50 years to 95 years.
“Although the condition of some ill residents has worsened and unfortunately four more have died, others are improving and we are confident this outbreak is under control,” said David McKeown, Toronto’s medical health officer.
“Given the age of the population…it’s not at all unexpected to see more deaths.”
Health officials have ruled out SARS, avian flu and influenza and are awaiting lab results.
But McKeown said it is possible they may never be able to identify the virus, which has infected 70 residents at the home as well as 12 employees and two visitors.
Forty people have been put into isolation in hospital. Residents with less severe symptoms are recovering at the nursing home which is closed to visitors and new patients.
Hospitals and emergency rooms were operating normally but medical staff at hospitals with infected patients are donning gowns, masks and gloves when handling patients.