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Mysterious viral outbreak in Toronto, influenza ruled out

A viral outbreak has been reported at a seniors' home in Toronto and experts say that viruses other than influenza could have caused the death of four residents at the home. Infectious diseases expert Dr. Neil Rau said that there was // no cause to fear an outbreak and stressed that the virus could not only be the flu one, "This isn't a pandemic by any means, but there is always a potential for a new virus to cause a significant burden of disease," he said. All the four persons who succumbed to the illness were in the twilight of their lives and were aged between 50s, 70s and 90s.

Over the last two days health officials in Toronto have dismantled the SARS, avian flu and influenza theories that were circulating in the local media. Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health said, "We are seeing improvements in the majority of patients who've been admitted."

Earlier this month there was a mysterious illness that claimed four lives at the Seven Oaks Home for the Aged in Scarborough. Health officials admit that they have yet to track down the cause for these deaths. "In fact, many of the patients still being managed at the Seven Oaks facility ... are improving as well. So there's some good news today," Dr. McKeown commented. However, the number of persons that are ill from this unknown disease rose to 77 on Sunday, four more than the previous day. Patients at the Scarborough Hospital, Rouge Valley Centenary and Toronto East General have been isolated and health workers have been advised to take adequate precautions.

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