Mystery Illness Strikes Via Train, 1 dead, at least 10 sickened, all pax quarantined

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Mystery Illness Strikes Via Train, 1 dead, at least 10 sickened, all pax quarantined




FOLEYET, Ont. — With hundreds of passengers aboard, many believed to be foreign tourists, a VIA Rail train remained under quarantine in a small northern Ontario town Friday afternoon after a woman in her 60s died from a mysterious flu-like ailment and at least 10 others were taken to hospital in Timmins.

"We're just going crazy,” said Foleyet resident Carol Woodhouse, who works at a bunkhouse where train crews rest and eat.

As an army of ambulances, police cruisers and helicopters descended on Foleyet, a town of less than 400 people, only emergency personnel wearing full protective gear were being allowed aboard the train, which was en route to Toronto from Vancouver after leaving the West Coast three days ago.

Ontario public health officers were interviewing passengers, but a health official in Vancouver said all those who fell sick are believed to have boarded the train in Jasper.

"The rumours are flying, people are talking about SARS, nobody knows what's going on,” Ms. Woodhouse said. "Usually we only have two policemen here, now I think we've got 20.”

She estimated the train – carrying 260 passengers and 30 crew – consisted of at least 30 carriages, but the illness is believed to have been contained within one or two cars.

The stricken passengers were taken to Timmins and District Hospital, an hour's drive east.

Initial reports said five people had fallen ill and that figure reportedly rose to 10. Local authorities, however, were saying little, Ms. Woodhouse said. "They're keeping things pretty hush-hush.”

[url= and Mail[/url]

Scary stuff.

[ 09 May 2008: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]


Watch it turn out to be an illness that could have been prevented by a simple immunization shot or two.


No story here....please move along.

Sean in Ottawa


Originally posted by scooter:
[b]No story here....please move along.[/b]

And you say this based on what exactly?

At the least- this story should draw attention to the fact that little has been done to protect healthcare workers in Canada since Sars. With the Nursing shortage becoming more critical it would not take many health workers sick or quaranteened to create a crisis yet. We have far to go in terms of preparation for public health emergencies - read: [url=]http://www.nursesunio...

While this is unlikely to be the big crisis- when one happens it will appear as sudden as this did.


[url= death likely not due to infectious disease[/url]


Ontario's chief medical health officer says the woman who died on a Via Rail train causing it to be quarantined "most likely did not have an infectious disease."

Six other people, including the person who was airlifted to hospital Friday with what were reported to be "flu like symptoms," also do not appear to be infectious, said Dr. David Williams at a press conference Friday afternoon.

That went up just a few minutes ago at CTV News.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Food poisoning in Jasper... not unlikely.