US embassy cable - 03OTTAWA1167

WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 25 (Number 7)

Identifier: 03OTTAWA1167
Wikileaks: View 03OTTAWA1167 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ottawa
Created: 2003-04-25 20:05:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: TBIO AMED 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 SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 001167 
 
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) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: TBIO, AMED, CA, SARS, Health 
SUBJECT: WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 25 
(Number 7) 
 
Ref. (A) Ottawa 1155 (SARS Canada-wide Report #6) 
 
     (B) Toronto 1210(Ontario SARS Update #17) 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. Health Canada provides domestic travel advisory with 
the message: "It's safe to come to Toronto"; federal 
cabinet to meet in Toronto on April 29 to lead by 
example.  Total cases in Ontario continue to drop, but 
there has been an increase in suspect cases in British 
Columbia.  End summary. 
 
------------------------- 
Domestic Travel Advisory 
------------------------ 
 
2. In an unprecedented step, on April 25, Health Canada 
issued a domestic travel advisory regarding SARS and 
Toronto.  The text reads "Health Canada advises 
Canadians that travel to any destination in Canada is 
safe and may be undertaken in the same manner as one 
usually would with respect to transport, accommodation, 
meals, entertainment, business and family engagements, 
whether arriving from overseas or traveling 
domestically". 
 
3. Health Canada does not normally issue travel advice 
with respect to domestic travel.  Canadian Health 
authorities believe, however, that this domestic travel 
advice will provide Canadians with the most accurate 
assessment of the Canadian SARS situation.  The Travel 
Advice can be accessed at: 
 
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/tmp- 
pmv/2003/sarsdomestic_e.html 
 
4. For the first time since the WHO Travel Advisory was 
released, Prime Minister Chrtien made remarks on SARS. 
In his April 25 remarks in Ottawa at a Genome Science 
exposition, Chrtien noted that Canada is working in 
close partnership with the United States Centers for 
Disease Control and that Canada is very appreciative of 
the CDC effort. 
 
5. He noted too, the fact that the GoC believes that 
the World Health Organization came to the wrong 
conclusion and that Toronto is a safe city.  Chretien 
announced a "marketing campaign for Toronto and Ontario 
and indeed all of Canada" to demonstrate there is no 
threat.  The GoC will contribute C$10 million to the 
effort. 
 
6. Moreover, the federal cabinet will meet in Toronto 
on April 29 to demonstrate in a very public way the GoC 
commitment to not let fears about SARS prevail.  The PM 
will also stay Monday night at a Toronto hotel. 
 
------------ 
SARS Figures 
------------ 
 
7. As of 13:00 Eastern Daylight Saving Time, April 24, 
2003 Health Canada has received reports of 327 probable 
or suspect cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome 
(SARS) in Canada (A net increase Canada-wide of 1 case 
since our Report #6).  There have been 16 deaths 
attributed to SARS linked to the Toronto nexus.  To 
date, transmission has been limited to specific 
transmission settings such as households, hospitals and 
specific community settings. The details of the cases 
to date are as follows: 
 
-- Ontario is reporting 136 probable and 121 suspect 
cases.  This is a decrease of 1 suspect case since 
Report #6.  (See Toronto reporting for greater detail.) 
 
-- British Columbia is reporting 4 probable and 54 
suspect cases. This is an increase of 7 suspect cases 
since Report #6.  See paragraph 4. 
 
-- New Brunswick is reporting 2 suspect cases. (No 
change.) 
 
-- Saskatchewan is reporting 1 suspect case. (No 
change.) 
 
-- Alberta is reporting 5 suspect cases. (No change) 
-- Prince Edward Island is reporting 4 suspect cases. 
(No change.) 
 
8. The new suspect cases in British Columbia (BC) were 
passengers on the flight from New Delhi via Taipei that 
arrived in Vancouver on April 19.  In an April 24 press 
release Dr. Monika Naus of the BC Centre for Disease 
Control noted that  "There are many causes for fever 
and cough in a returning traveler, India is not 
considered a SARS-affected area by the World Health 
Organization and there was only a brief stopover in 
Taipei. The risk may be low that these individuals have 
SARS, but we don't want to take any chances. If there 
are other passengers who were on this flight who are 
ill, we want to know about it." 
 
9. In the press release Naus states "We have been 
notified of 10 people in eight different families who 
have reported these symptoms.  Two have been 
hospitalized (Ref A) but none have required ICU care or 
assistance to breathe."  "We are asking that any other 
passengers with flu-like illness who were on these 
flights call ahead and notify their personal doctor. 
Their doctor should then notify public health." 
 
10.  The BC Centre for Disease Control will be directly 
contacting residents of B.C. who were on the China Air 
flight.  Passengers who may have gone on to other 
provinces will be notified by that province. 
 
Cellucci 

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