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Toronto has been removed from the list of areas affected by SARS

For the past 12 days, no case of Sars has been diagnosed in Canada, and according to the organization's experts, the risk of infection between humans has passed by the hour. Taiwan remains the only country where the disease has yet to be controlled

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The World Health Organization announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it removed the city of Toronto in Canada from the list of areas infected with the SARS disease. Now only Taiwan remains in the list of areas where they have not yet been able to control the disease, which at its peak spread to more than 30 countries and has so far killed more than 800 people worldwide. However, the restrictions on Taiwan are not as severe as before, and there is no recommendation by the organization to avoid visits to the island.

According to the organization's statement, the last case diagnosed as SARS was discovered in Toronto on June 12 and the patient was immediately put into isolation. Since then, 12 days have passed, an amount equal to two incubation periods of the disease, and since no additional case was discovered, the organization announced that for the time being, the danger of infection between humans has passed and there is no longer a reason to include the city on the list.

"This is a tremendous achievement for the public health system and we hope that this is the final stages of the global emergency," said David Hyman, head of the infectious diseases department at the organization.

Toronto was the largest epicenter of SARS when the virus began to spread from Southeast Asia in February. The World Health Organization advised travelers to avoid visiting Toronto at the end of April, close to the discovery of the first case of the disease in the city. The warning was lifted a week later and on May 14, the organization removed the city from the list of infected areas. However, the disease broke out again, or was not completely suppressed, and on May 26 the city returned to the list. The disease claimed the lives of 35 people in Toronto and infected 264 people. Toronto was the only place outside of Asia where deaths from SARS were counted.

"Toronto faced a particularly difficult outbreak," Hyman said. "As we have learned, Sars is a disease that is very difficult to fight and it piles up surprising obstacles for those who want to eradicate it. We must pay respect to the workers of the health systems in Toronto and others who worked, whose lives were disrupted and put in danger in the face of this threat," he added.

Ydan Hassars
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