Four residents dead from respiratory illness outbreak at Toronto nursing home

Toronto public health officials are investigating the deaths of four elderly people after they contracted a respiratory illness at a nursing home, where dozens of others have also been affected.

Toronto public health chief Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Saturday the unidentified illness has affected 68 residents and five employees at the Seven Oaks home for the aged.

Yaffe says 15 people have been admitted to hospitals in the area but are not being quarantined. Three of the victims died at the home, with the fourth dying in hospital.

She called it a "typical respiratory illness," adding that the infection is not compatible with SARS, influenza, or avian flu and that there is no threat to the greater public.

Yaffe says all the patients had pre-existing medical conditions and two were in their mid-90s, AP reported.

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