SARS Update - A letter from Sue Schneider

18 April 2003

The River City Group has been closely tracking the facts regarding SARS in the Toronto area and would like to share with you the results of our research. This will be updated regularly so that you can make your personal decisions regarding attendance at this event.

In terms of GIGSE 2003, we are proceeding with the event. The number of companies/organizations currently committed to sponsoring or exhibiting at GIGSE stands at 41 companies and is growing daily. We have had no cancellations from exhibitors/sponsors.

In terms of registrations, those also are coming in daily from around the world. We have had 5-8 notices from Australians who tell us they're not coming due to their government’s advisory. We currently have no registrations from anyone in the affected areas of Singapore, Hong Kong, Guangdong, or Hanoi, Viet Nam.

As of April 7, the World Health Organization site says that: "All Canadian cases have occurred in persons who have traveled to Asia or had contact with SARS cases in the household or in a health-care setting." They chart the outbreak in Canada at the following link:

The US Center for Disease Control had this to say in its travel advisory as of April 14, 2003: "Because the epidemiology of SARS in Canada is significantly different with regards to community transmission, CDC is not issuing a specific travel advisory for Canada at this time."

The UK has taken a similar approach to the US. Their site says: “Canada is a popular destination for British travelers and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free. There continue to be cases and a handful of deaths from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, chiefly in the Toronto area. But risk to the public at large remains low. In line with the Department of Health advice, we are not advising against travel to Toronto.”

However, the government of Australia has put Canada on a list of spots that they recommend not traveling to for “non-essential” travel at this point.


World Health Organization

We will continue to monitor the situation in Toronto and will let you know if there's a substantive change. Please let me know if you have additional questions about this (US telephone 1-636-946-0820) and we look forward to seeing you in May.

Sue Schneider

Related Links
Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (GIGSE) 2003