SARS: Change in status of Toronto

15th May 2003


has today removed Toronto, Canada from the list of areas with recent local transmission. Toronto has also been removed from the list of areas for which WHO has issued recommendations pertaining to international travel.

The decision was made following a teleconference between Toronto and Health Canada officials and WHO. The teleconference, which was requested by Health Canada, reviewed the adequacy of data on the SARS situation in Canada and summarized the criteria and procedures used by WHO when making decisions about which areas should be included in the list.

The most important WHO consideration is whether 20 days have passed since the last locally acquired case was isolated or died. If no further cases have occurred for 20 days, which is twice the maximum incubation period for SARS, the chain of transmission is considered broken. The last locally acquired case in Canada was isolated on 20 April.

WHO issues recommendations related to international travel as one of several measures designed to reduce the risk of further spread of SARS.




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