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March 14, 2003
Notice of Travel-Related Respiratory Illness
  
Toronto Public Health, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care and local hospitals, is investigating several cases of a
respiratory illness in one Toronto family.

Two individuals from this family have died, and four other members are
hospitalized. They have a severe form of pneumonia.

The World Health Organization issued a global alert this morning on similar
illnesses and deaths occurring in Hong Kong, Viet Nam, and Guangdong province
in China. Three members of the family recently travelled to Hong Kong.

At this time, it is unknown if the Toronto cases are linked to the cases in
Asia.

Toronto Public Health is asking members of the public who came in contact with
Mrs. Sui-chu Kwan, who passed away March 5, or her son, Chi Kwai Tse who died
March 13, or their immediate family, and are experiencing the following
symptoms, to contact Toronto Public Health. Symptoms include:

?X Sudden onset of high fever (over 38.5 degrees Celsius)
?X Muscle aches
?X One or more of the following respiratory symptoms - cough, sore throat,
shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.

Individuals who have travelled to any of the countries mentioned above within
the past two weeks, and are experiencing these symptoms, should also contact
Toronto Public Health.

One of the affected family members also attended at the Emergency Room of The
Scarborough Hospital, Grace Division on the evening of Friday, March 7 until
Saturday March 8. The individual was transferred to medical floor 4D and then
to the Intensive Care Unit before being put in respiratory isolation.
Individuals who were present at any of these wards on these dates, and are
experiencing the symptoms listed above, should contact Toronto Public Health.

Toronto Public Health will operate a phone line from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow,
Saturday, March 15, and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Each call will be
assessed, counselled, and if appropriate, referred for medical attention.

Members of the public can call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.

Media Contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7873



 

 

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