UN health agency removes SARS travel advisory for Toronto
The United Nations health agency today lifted its advisory against non-essential travel to Toronto, Canada, following an improved outlook in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak there.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advisory – issued a week ago to minimize the international spread of the potentially deadly disease – remains in effect for Beijing, Hong Kong, and Guangdong and Shanxi Provinces in China. As of yesterday, there have been 5,462 probable cases of the illness, with 353 deaths, in 27 countries.
Explaining its decision, WHO said the magnitude of probable SARS cases in Toronto had decreased, 20 days had now passed since the last cases of community transmission, and no new confirmed exportation of cases had occurred.
But Toronto still has an outbreak of SARS, and the lifting of the advisory does not change its status as an “affected” area, WHO added. As of yesterday Canada had 146 cases, 20 of them fatal, according to WHO figures.