Saturday, February 14, 2009

Canadian Quarantine

As SARS cases increased in Toronto, Canada, the government had to find a way to contain it. Quarantine was the answer. On March 25, 2003, approximately 30,000 people in Toronto were detained and quarantined. Prior to this governmental mandate, many hospitals were placed under “Code Orange.” Hospitals were required to limit visitors, suspend some services that were considered non-essential, and create isolation units specifically for SARS (or potential SARS) patients. Unfortunately, many doctors and other health professionals caught the disease. During the second outbreak in 2003, four SARS hospitals were created and all other hospitals were put under “Code Orange.” Much of the quarantine took place in individuals’ homes and work. Those who had come into contact with a SARS victim were required to remain in their home for 10 days in isolation. Surprisingly, screening for SARS at Canadian airports basically consisted of information cards passed out to all passengers. Further assessment were performed as needed. While 6.5 million people were screened, none were suspected to have SARS.

Check this link to see how various countries dealt with SARS.

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