CDC Removes Travel Alert for Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada


WASHINGTON and ATLANTA -- As of July 10, 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed its travel alert for Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada to reflect the changing status of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) cases reported in these areas. The alert for Hong Kong is lifted retroactively for 1 July 2003 (last case of onset based on updated research in Hong Kong determined to be May 31). The alerts for Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada were lifted because more than 30 days had elapsed since the date of onset of symptoms for the last SARS case.

In response to the SARS epidemic, CDC issues two types of notices to travelers: alerts and advisories. A travel advisory recommends that nonessential travel be deferred; a travel alert does not advise against travel, but informs travelers of a health concern and provides advice about specific precautions. Recommendations to postpone travel or observe precautions are issued in consideration of several factors, including the magnitude of current SARS cases, the pattern of recent local transmission, and the last date of onset of cases.

Beijing and Taiwan are the remaining areas under CDC's travel alert. CDC continues to distribute health alert notices about SARS to people traveling to the United States from these areas. Individuals who travel to Beijing and Taiwan, should monitor their health while there and for at least 10 days after departure. If fever or respiratory symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath) develop, a visit to a healthcare provider is strongly recommended. The provider should be informed about the symptoms in advance so arrangements can be made, if necessary, to prevent transmission to others in the healthcare setting.

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Source: CDC

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