Cablegate: Wgsars: Canada-Wide Status Report April 11
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
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
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CA SARS
SUBJECT: WGSARS: Canada-wide Status Report April 11
Ref. (A) Ottawa 1043 (SARS Canada-wide Report #1)
(B) Toronto 1048 (Ontario SARS Health Emergency)
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.
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
-- British Columbia is reporting 3 probable and 32
-- 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
-- No change: 10, all clustered in Toronto, Ontario.
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
-- 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.
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.