Hospital routine blamed for SARS outbreak

Jan 10, 2007

Poor hospital infection-control procedures led to the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto, a commission investigating the epidemic found.

The outbreak occurred in February 2003, when a Toronto-area woman contracted the virus on a trip to Hong Kong and returned to Canada, where she died, The New York Times said. Her son went to the hospital with an undiagnosed condition, later identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome. While in the emergency room, the man transmitted the virus to others and it continued to spread, the commission said.

Forty-four people died. Of the 375 SARS cases identified in Ontario Province, healthcare workers accounted for 45 percent, the commission said.

"Systemic problems ran through every hospital and every government agency," Doug Hunt, commission chief counsel, said Tuesday when findings were released.

The commission recommended new legislation and changes to hospital practices and health surveillance. It also urged the province's labor department play a larger role in protecting workers from disease outbreaks.

SARS was reported first in Asia in early 2003. By July, 774 deaths of 8,000 infections worldwide were attributed to it, the World Health Organization reported.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: UN Ebola head warns against complacency as fight enters last lap

Related Stories

Apple 'genius' Steve Jobs dies from cancer

Oct 06, 2011

Suddenly, the next version of the iPhone doesn't seem so important. It's time to mourn Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley maestro who always seemed to hit the right note as he transformed Apple Inc. into technology's ...

Russia marks 50 years since Gagarin triumph

Apr 07, 2011

Half a century ago, a Russian carpenter's son named Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, carving an indelible mark in human history and scoring the greatest Soviet Cold War success.

Study: Get thee to a stroke center

Jan 25, 2011

Hospitals with designated stroke centers are associated with up to 20 percent higher survival rate for patients with ischemic stroke and significantly greater use of acute stroke therapy. That is the conclusion of a study ...

Recommended for you

US Ebola patient's health improves again

5 hours ago

An American healthcare worker who contracted the dangerous Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone has improved and is now listed in fair condition, hospital officials said Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.