Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

Federal Health Officials Say SARS is no Threat to Visitors in Toronto

April 25, 2003

Federal Health Officials Say SARS is no Threat to Visitors in Toronto
Federal health officials in the U.S. stated Thursday that they have no plans to issue a travel warning urging citizens to stay away from Toronto as a result of SARS.

The WHO travel advisory issued this week unleashed immediate criticism from Canadian officials, who said the spread of SARS has largely been limited to health workers caring for patients and close contacts of those with the disease.

Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), echoed the statement when she stated "U.S. citizens traveling to Canada are not at risk for SARS if they avoid hospitals and take common sense precautions." The CDC is recommending travelers in Toronto wash their hands thoroughly and frequently while staying away from hospitals and the homes of SARS patients.

The travel advisories issued by the WHO are, however, taking their toll on NTA tour operators offering packages in the Toronto area. In a story appearing in today’s USA Today, NTA member John P. Stachnik, CTP, CTC and president of Mayflower Tours Inc., was quoted as saying, "people aren’t canceling, but they’re not booking new trips either."

As of Thursday, Health Canada was reporting 140 probably SARS cases nationwide, with 136 of them centered in Ontario. Sixteen people have died from the disease in Canada.

For more on this story, visit

« »