US embassy cable - 03OTTAWA1049

WGSARS: Update 8 - Ontario SARS Health Emergency

Identifier: 03OTTAWA1049
Wikileaks: View 03OTTAWA1049 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ottawa
Created: 2003-04-11 13:48:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: AMED SOCI TBIO ECON CASC CA SARS Health
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS OTTAWA 001049 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR WHA/CAN, CA/OCS, M/MED, OES/PCI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: AMED, SOCI, TBIO, ECON, CASC, CA, SARS, Health 
SUBJECT: WGSARS: Update 8 - Ontario SARS Health Emergency 
 
Ref:  Toronto 1048 and previous 
 
1. Ottawa transmitting text of AmConsul Toronto. 
 
2. Fatalities:  As of COB April 9, no new SARS deaths have 
been reported, leaving the number of SARS fatalities in 
Ontario at ten. 
 
3. Number of cases: Health Canada's April 9 SARS advisory 
lists approximately 195 cases of SARS in Ontario, including 
94 probable and 101 suspect cases, an increase of 3 probable 
and 2 suspect cases since April 8 reporting. A total of 49 
patients treated for SARS have been discharged from 
hospital.  All Ontario cases, according to the advisory, 
have occurred in persons who have traveled to Asian SARS 
hotspots or had contact with SARS cases in a household or in 
a health-care setting. 
 
4. Prophylactic measures: Acting on the recommendation of 
Toronto Public Health as a precautionary measure, the 
Toronto District School Board closed two Toronto high 
schools until April 15, a closure affecting almost 1500 
persons.  One student who developed SARS-like symptoms last 
week is undergoing review to determine cause of illness. 
Leading daily "Toronto Star" reported on April 10 that York 
region health officers have requested home quarantine for 
all those who were at Hewlett Packard's suburban Toronto 
facility in Markham from March 29 to April 1. 
 
5. The Provincial Ministry of Health is opening up 
additional space at the Oakville Lifecare Centre at the 
outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to move patients 
awaiting long-term care placement out of Toronto hospitals, 
freeing GTA hospital beds for acute care patients.  The 
April 9 "Toronto Star" reports that province-wide SARS 
health-care measures were working, as exemplified by smooth 
operational procedures at a rural Ontario hospital in 
Listowel. A suspect SARS patient, back from Asian travel, 
was admitted and "quickly whisked into an isolation area." 
"We are ready right at the door and so we picked [the case] 
up with our screening tool," stated the hospital's CEO as 
reported in the "Star." 
 
6. Economic impacts:  According to media reports, including 
Reuters on April 10, Wal-Mart Stores has temporarily barred 
its employees from traveling to the Toronto area, while 
asking staff returning from Toronto (as well as SARS Asian 
hotspots) to remain at home for 10 days.  The GTA contains 9 
Wal-Mart complexes plus the company's home office in Canada. 
On the good news front, the "Star" reports major conventions 
maintaining schedules in Toronto, including this week's 
2,000-delegate National Association of School Psychologists 
and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine. 
 
CELLUCCI 

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