Learning from SARS

Learning from SARS


The National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health was established in early May 2003 by the Minister of Health of the Government of Canada, the Hon. A. Anne McLellan, in the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS]. The Committee’s mandate was to provide a “third party assessment of current public health efforts and lessons learned for ongoing and future infectious disease control.” Committee members represented a multitude of disci- plines and perspectives from across Canada. Several were directly involved in responding to SARS in different capacities. We reviewed source documents, conducted interviews, and engaged consultants to undertake surveys, additional interviews, and analyses to illuminate aspects of the SARS experience. Advice was also sought from a constitutional legal expert. Over 30 non-governmental and voluntary sector stakeholders submitted helpful briefs and letters.

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Resource Details

Canadian National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health

October 2003

234 pages

Infectious Disease
Lessons Identified

Table of Contents (abbreviated)

Executive Summary

– Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
– Globalization and Communicable Disease.
– The World Health Organization (WHO)
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
– A “CDC North”?
– Emergency Preparedness
– The State of Canada’s Public Health System
– Federal/Provincial/Territorial Structures and Linkages
– Canada’s SARS Experience
– Learning from SARS

Chapter2—SARS in Canada: Anatomy of an Outbreak
– A New Disease in Guangdong (November 27, 2002 – February 22, 2003)
– From Kowloon to Scarborough (February 23, 2003 – March 12, 2003)
– SARSI: The Outbreak Begins (March 13, 2003 – March25, 2003)
– The Emergency (March 26, 2003 – April7, 2003)
– The Quest for Containment (April 8, 2003–April 23, 2003)
– Between the Waves (April 24, 2003 – May 22, 2003)
– SARS II (May 23, 2003 – June 30, 2003)
– SARS and the Health Care Worker
– Epilogue

Chapter3—The Role and Organization of Public Health
Chapter 4 — Enhancing the Public Health Infrastructure: A Prescription for Renewal
Chapter 5 — Building Capacity and Coordination: National Infectious Disease Surveillance,
Outbreak Management, and Emergency Response
Chapter 6 — Strengthening the Role of Laboratories in Public Health and Public Health Emergencies
Chapter 7 — Public Health Human Resources
Chapter 8 — Clinical and Public Health Systems Issues Arising from the Outbreak of SARS in Toronto
Chapter 9 — Some Legal and Ethical Issues Raised by SARS and Infectious Diseases in Canada
Chapter 10 — Emerging Infectious Disease Research in Canada – Lessons from SARS
Chapter11—Viruses without Borders: International Aspects of SARS
Chapter12—Learning from SARS: Renewal of Public Health in Canada
Appendix 1 — Interviews and Submissions

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