One reason I went to the ER before my trip is that ER waits are even worse –and sometimes more deadly– in my destination, Canada.
January 10, 2007
A provincial commission investigating the SARS outbreak in 2003 reported Tuesday that poor hospital infection-control procedures led to the epidemic in the Toronto area that killed 44 people.
The outbreak surfaced in February 2003, when a woman from the Toronto area contracted the virus on a trip to Hong Kong and returned home, dying soon after. Her son went to a hospital with an unidentified condition that was later diagnosed as SARS. While waiting for 16 hours in a crowded emergency room, the man transmitted the virus to two other patients, and it continued to spread, the commissionâ€™s report says.
On May 17, 2003, three months after the first case in Ontario, the authorities declared the crisis over. As a result, the report released Tuesday found, surveillance and prevention measures were relaxed, and an outbreak brewing at another hospital was not detected until it was too late. On May 23, health officials announced a second, larger outbreak.