Toronto is the next city in WHO's list that travelers should avoid because of SARS. The local readers who considered Toronto a safe place to live were stunned by this. Toronto is the first locality outside China to be designated as a threat to international health because of the respiratory disease. Beijing and Shanxi Province in China were also added to its list, which already has Hong Kong and Guangdong Province as the hot spots for severe acute respiratory syndrome. This formed a challenge to officials optimism that the disease could be stopped. But now, with the disease spreading nearly every day and a sixteenth Toronto patient dying early today what once looked like a model for the world to manage the SARS epidemic has been severely tarnished. Toronto area had 136 probable cases with more than 40 percent rise in the last two weeks.
AdvertisementA forecast by J. P. Securities Canada estimated that the epidemic in Toronto would cost the country US$30 million a day. Several health officials acknowledged this week that they were confounded by the challenge of keeping SARS from racing through hospital wards, among family members of the sick, and then gradually spilling into the population at large. Many are beginning to conclude that no quarantine system can be foolproof for a disease that is hard to detect and easily confused with other ailments in its initial phases.