One rare form of flu killed eight people in Toronto, officials say

TORONTO — Health officials confirmed Monday that a single case of the rare and highly infectious cold virus Ometechalbis Leishmani has been reported in Toronto, bringing the city’s total to four. Toronto Public Health…

One rare form of flu killed eight people in Toronto, officials say

TORONTO — Health officials confirmed Monday that a single case of the rare and highly infectious cold virus Ometechalbis Leishmani has been reported in Toronto, bringing the city’s total to four.

Toronto Public Health said it had confirmed first three cases of the virus, including three new victims: one child, 14, and two adults, 37 and 60. Ometechalbis Leishmani (which means “transitory itch”) is an infection that causes skin to break out in red, flaky lesions, itchy welts, and blisters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials say the virus spreads through aerosolized particles, but it can also spread through direct contact, such as by coughing or sneezing. Ometechalbis is so infectious that the smallest amount of secretions transmitted in the respiratory tract can kill someone, according to the CDC.

Anyone who thinks they have been exposed to the virus should wash their hands, wash any exposed clothing, and contact their health care provider, according to Toronto Public Health. Health officials also say Ometechalbis cases are also more likely to occur in children.

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