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Health Canada: SARS Screening 'Useless'

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TORONTO, Nov 13, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Canadian officials admitted Thursday money spent screening passengers for SARS at Canadian airports has done nothing to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health Canada said it is studying the screening efforts because they've been fruitless, and because there are no known new cases of sudden acquired respiratory syndrome anywhere in the world.

The screening measures, using thermal scanners that cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars, were introduced last spring under intense pressure from the World Health Organization. But Health Canada officials now say what seemed to make sense during the height of the SARS crisis ultimately proved ineffective.

David Mowat of Health Canada told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, "The whole notion of either trying to catch all the cases before they get into a country, or stop anyone from exporting cases, is noble but not possible."

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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