US embassy cable - 03OTTAWA1061

WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 11 (Number 2)

Identifier: 03OTTAWA1061
Wikileaks: View 03OTTAWA1061 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ottawa
Created: 2003-04-11 20:19:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: TBIO AMED CA Health SARS
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001061 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR WGSARS, OES/PCI, WHA/CAN (RUNNING) 
 
HHS FOR OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, OFFICE OF 
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (STEIGER) 
 
CDC for Global Health Office (Cox) and Epidemiology 
Program Office 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO, AMED, CA, Health, SARS 
SUBJECT: WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 11 
(Number 2) 
 
Ref. (A) Ottawa 1043 (SARS Canada-wide Report #1) 
 
     (B) Toronto 1048 (Ontario SARS Health Emergency) 
 
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Summary 
------- 
 
1. Health Canada reports 253 probable or suspect cases 
across Canada, a net increase of 9.  Health Canada, as 
a precaution, has asked blood collection agencies not 
to accept blood donations from those who have traveled 
outside Canada to SARS affected regions, or have been 
to a facility under SARS quarantine in Canada.  Also, 
during flights from SARS affected regions, all 
passengers will be asked to fill out a "traveler 
tracing" form to provide to Canadian authorities upon 
arrival to facilitate passenger and health authority 
contact.  End summary. 
 
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Figures 
------- 
 
2. As of 13:00 EDT, April 10, 2003, Health Canada has 
received reports of 253 probable or suspect cases of 
severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Canada. 
The distributions of the cases to date are as follows: 
  -- Ontario is reporting 95 probable and 111 suspect 
  cases.  All cases have occurred in persons who have 
  traveled to Asia or had contact with SARS cases in 
  the household or in a health-care setting. (See 
  Toronto reporting for more detail on the situation 
  in Ontario). 
  -- British Columbia is reporting 3 probable and 32 
  suspect cases. 
  -- New Brunswick is reporting 2 suspect cases. 
  -- Saskatchewan is reporting 1 suspect case. 
  -- Alberta is reporting 5 suspect cases. 
  -- Prince Edward Island is reporting 4 suspect 
  cases. 
 
3. Fatalities: 
 
  -- No change: 10, all clustered in Toronto, Ontario. 
 
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Protecting Canada's Blood Supply 
-------------------------------- 
 
4.  As a precautionary measure to protect the blood 
supply in Canada and recipients from the possible 
threat of SARS, Health Canada has directed the Canadian 
Blood Service and Hma-Quebec to temporarily exclude 
persons who meet the following profile from donating 
blood (for a period of 10 days): 
  -- traveled within the previous 10 days to an 
  affected area outside Canada. The affected areas are 
  currently: China, including the Hong Kong Special 
  Administrative Region; Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore and 
  Taiwan; 
  -- been a patient, worked in, or visited a facility 
  that is under quarantine for SARS. 
 
5. Health Canada has also requested that provincial 
public health officials, when investigating possible 
SARS cases, ask whether the individual has donated 
blood.  If the individual has donated blood within 10 
days prior to the first day of symptoms, public health 
officials are asked to notify Canadian Blood Services 
and Hma-Qubec.  In such cases the donor's blood and 
blood products will be withdrawn from inventory. 
 
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Information to trace travelers 
------------------------------- 
 
6. Beginning Thursday, April 10th, as an added 
precautionary measure, Health Canada has arranged for 
in-flight distribution of a health alert card to 
passengers on all direct flights to Canada from Hong 
Kong, Singapore and Beijing. 
 
7. Flight attendants will also ask passengers to fill 
out a traveler tracing form (also known as contact 
information cards) that will enable health authorities 
to contact passengers over a two-week period after 
their arrival in Canada, if necessary.  These forms 
must be filled out before clearing customs.  Upon 
arrival, Health Canada staff will gather these contact 
forms from passengers.  Health Canada anticipates that 
this in-flight distribution will also be expanded to 
direct flights from other Asian destinations in the 
near future - but no details are as yet available. 
 
Cellucci 

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