SARS in Canada - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/23/03

SARS in Canada

We used to just see the pictures of masks among those in Asia, but today, the mask is showing up in airports across the U.S. now that the World Health Organization has broadened its travel advisory to include Toronto.

Canadian health officials say they are working with more than 300 suspected cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, and 16 have died. So, the WHO is advising against travel to Toronto if it can be avoided.

Unlike the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control is taking a more conservative approach: no warning, just more education. The CDC says travel to Canada if you want to, but understand the symptoms of SARS so you will know to seek treatment if you show the signs.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball officials are advising teams headed to Toronto to not sign autographs or mingle with crowds.

"I don't feel we need to be hysterical about this, but I think common sense things like good hand washing and good personal hygiene and exposure to people who may be potentially infected is very, very appropriate," says Dr. Joseph Timpone, George Washington Hospital.

Worldwide, SARS has infected almost 4,300, killing 251. Still, the illness has been mild in the U.S., with no deaths reported here.

The CDC says that SARS symptoms can include:

  • High Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Difficulty Breathing

Be especially careful is you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with SARS or who has traveled to Asia or Toronto.

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