Toronto nurse dies from flu-like illness SARS

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

TORONTO -- A nurse at North York General Hospital became Ontario's first health care worker to die of SARS, raising the death toll from the flu-like illness in Toronto to 39.

Several more health care workers are in critical condition on ventilators, and some of them also could succumb, health officials said Monday.

North York General Hospital was the epicenter of Toronto's second SARS outbreak, which festered for weeks unnoticed before health officials discovered it on May 23.

The nurse's death Sunday was announced in a brief statement by Ontario Health Minister Tony Clement that lacked details such as when infection occurred.

Toronto had the largest SARS outbreak outside of Asia, with 39 deaths and almost 250 cases.

More than 27,000 people in and around Toronto were forced into quarantine during the two outbreaks -- one in March and April and the second in May and June.

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