Protecting Canadians from Influenza

    OTTAWA, Dec. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Council of Canadian Academies today
released a study entitled "Influenza Transmission and the Role of Personal
Protective Respiratory Equipment: An Assessment of the Evidence." The Public
Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asked the Council to investigate how seasonal
and pandemic influenza are transmitted and, based on those findings, to assess
the contribution of respirators and surgical masks to the prevention of
    The report of the study represents the consensus findings of a 13-member
panel of experts, chaired by Dr. Donald Low, Microbiologist-in-Chief at Mount
Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
    "We were asked to prepare our report based on the research and clinical
evidence that already exists," said Dr. Low. "Our conclusions reflect the
diverse nature of both the research available and the learned opinions of our
panel members who include experts in virology, infection control,
occupa-tional health and safety, nursing and evaluation of protective
    The findings of the expert panel have been conveyed to PHAC and are
available on the Council's web-site,

    About the Council of Canadian Academies

    The Council of Canadian Academies is a not-for-profit organization which
commenced operation in early 2006. The primary mission of the Council is to
provide independent, expert assessments of the science that is relevant to
matters of significant public interest with the goal of informing public
de-bate and decision making. Its members are the RSC: The Academies of Arts,
Humanities and Sciences of Canada; the Canadian Academy of Engineering; and
the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. The Council is supported by a
founding grant from the Government of Canada but is independent from
government. Its reports are prepared by panels of experts appointed by the
Council. All reports are made public in both official languages. To learn more
about the Council of Canadian Academies or to download Council reports, visit

For further information:

For further information: Samantha Rae, Communications Manager, Council
of Canadian Academies, (613) 567-5000, extension 256,

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