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Canada Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Mar 31, 2003

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the declaration of a Provincial health emergency in Ontario, Canada. This Announcement expires on June 26, 2003.

On March 26, the Government of Ontario declared Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to be a provincial emergency. The declaration follows the deaths of three individuals from SARS and the apparent manifestations of the disease in more than 50 individuals across the province. Canada is attempting to limit the spread of the outbreak by screening all passengers at airports for SARS symptoms. Health Canada sent staff to Pearson and Vancouver International Airports to help monitor passengers arriving on direct flights from affected areas for flu-like symptoms and to assist those who appear to be ill. Two major hospitals have been closed or restricted in the past 24-48 hours; other hospitals may also be affected. Ontario hospitals are operating under severe measures such as limiting access,restricting patient transfers between hospitals and requesting that those at risk of developing SARS place themselves under voluntary quarantine in their homes.

Detailed information on SARS is available from the Centers for Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov, the World Health Organization and the Canadian Health Organization, http://www.health.gov.on.cal>. A Fact Sheet for American citizens traveling abroad based on information from those websites is also available at the website of the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, http://travel.state.gov. Information from Health Canada is available at www.hc-sc.qc.ca. For further information on travel to Canada, please consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://www.travel.state.gov. The U.S. Embassy is located in Ottawa, Canada at 490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8, telephone (613)238-5335; website at http://usembassy.state.gov/canada.

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