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SARS Report on Health Workers

The final investigation by a commission into the deadly SARS crisis of 2003, on Tuesday said that it has found that health care workers were //not adequately protected during the crisis that hit Toronto in 2003 and systemic failures affected hospitals and government agencies.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak had infected over 375 people in Toronto, one of the biggest cities of Canada. It has killed around 44 people, killing 2 nurses and one physician.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Archie Campbell, in a report having 1,200 pages released on Tuesday, spared no individuals of any level of authority from criticism.

The report concluded that system-wide failures contributed to the outbreak of SARS and workers would have been better protected if occupational health experts from the province of Ontario's labor ministry had been called to help.

The report also recommended dozens of changes in hospital practices, disease surveillance and provincial public health and emergency legislation. Some of the recommendations included: using every precaution available, whether scientifically proven or not; Planning and rehearsing the orderly hospital closures; Developing a system to track patients leaving hospital; Pacing infection control personnel in all hospitals etc., other proposals included more funding for public health, plans to notify all EMS personnel of possible risks and infectious disease training in medical and nursing schools.

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