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SARS Resurfaces in Toronto - 2003-05-27


Toronto, Canada is back on an international list of SARS-infected places. The centers for disease control has issued a travel alert for Canada, a step short of advising against unnecessary travel there. This, as SARS is having a real impact on the international sports scene. Miguel Rivera has details.

NATURAL SOUND SPORTS ANNOUNCER AND APPLAUSE

It is not the way the U.S. wanted to win the rights to host the women's world cup. Three weeks ago football’s governing body decided the SARS threat was too great to hold the event as originally scheduled in China this September. Yesterday an emergency committee determined the U.S. was best equipped to stage the tournament on such short notice.

The virus, responsible for 725 deaths worldwide, has forced the cancellation of a host of sporting events in Asia, including some qualifying events for the 2004 Olympics.

And now, there is more evidence of just how unpredictable SARS can be. Toronto has been placed back on the World Health Organization's list of SARS-affected sites after a renewed outbreak hit 4 hospitals. Just two weeks ago the W.H.O. declared SARS under control in Toronto. Tony Clement, Ontario’s health minister.

TONY CLEMENT, ONTARIO’S HEALTH MINISTER
"When you have a single SARS case in the system there’s the possibility of a flare up."

This is the first time SARS has reappeared in a site where it was thought to be under control. More than 1,400 people in Toronto have been asked to go into quarantine. Still, the W.H.O. is not warning travelers to steer clear of the Canadian city. Dr. Paul Gully from Health Canada.

DR. PAUL GULLY, HEALTH CANADA
"I would suggest the risk is minimal. No other transmission has occurred outside a SARS ward as far as we're aware.”

Scientists in Hong Kong and China say they are ready to begin testing a possible SARS vaccine on animals but the results are at least 6 months away.

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