Media Statement - Bird Flu Speculation: Inaccurate Media Reporting

    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) is
concerned about inaccurate media speculation and reporting regarding human
cases of avian flu. TEGH has no reason to speculate that any patients in the
hospital have avian flu.
    Toronto is experiencing steadily increasing cases of seasonal flu in the
community. For example, during the week of March 2 to 8th, 2008, there were 47
new cases of seasonal flu (not avian flu) in Toronto. Although TEGH has
effectively responded to an increased number of patients with seasonal
flu-like symptoms, including those from other facilities experiencing seasonal
flu outbreaks, the hospital has no reason to believe that any patients at TEGH
have H5N1 avian flu.
    Furthermore, media reports are indicating that the individuals suspected
to have avian flu had recently traveled to Bangladesh. It is important to
clarify that, according to the World Health Network, there have been no
reported human cases of H5N1 avian flu in Bangladesh.
    TEGH has a comprehensive screening program to identify patients who
present with potential respiratory illness. The hospital is proud of our
record in identifying such individuals. Effective identification enables TEGH
to provide appropriate treatment, to utilize respiratory precautions and to
protect staff and others. We are confident that no staff, patients or visitors
have been inadvertently exposed to seasonal influenza at TEGH.
    We wish to reassure the public that the hospital is safe and that there
is no reason for anybody who has visited the hospital to be concerned. All
services, including scheduled procedures, continue to be fully available. We
do not anticipate a need for any reduction in service or visitation

For further information:

For further information: Laura Visser, Director, Corporate
Communications, Planning & Partnerships, (416) 469-6580 ext 7738

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Toronto East General Hospital

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