Date Published: 29 April 2009

Government of Canada to provide laboratory testing support to Mexico

Health News from Canada
Health News from Canada.

Canada's Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Mexico's Minister of Health Dr. Jse ngel Crdova today announced that the Government of Canada has accepted the Government of Mexico's request to assist with laboratory testing of viral samples.

The Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory has already begun testing the 200 specimens from patients in Mexico with severe respiratory illness.

"In the spirit of international collaboration, and as part of our North American approach to this situation, we are pleased to assist the Government of Mexico with testing of virus samples," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This is not only an example of international collaboration. It's the right thing to do. We know by now that infectious diseases just don't respect borders, and so anything we can do to help our neighbours helps us protect our own citizens as well."

"The Mexican Government welcomes Canada's support," said Dr. Jse ngel Crdova. "We are working closely with Canada on gathering the scientific evidence necessary to help stop the spread of the virus."

For both countries, providing early scientific information is key to having an accurate and efficient response to the outbreak and to establishing effective prevention and mitigation actions.

Several Government of Canada departments including the Public Health Agency of Canada, Foreign Affairs Canada, Public Safety, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Border Services Agency, worked quickly last night to coordinate the arrival of the shipment which arrived by plane in Winnipeg.

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) is Canada's leading public health infectious disease laboratory, and is responsible for the identification, control and prevention of infectious diseases. It is recognized as a leading facility in an elite group of 15 centres around the world, equipped with laboratories ranging from biosafety level 2 to level 4 designed to accommodate the most basic to the most deadly infectious organisms.

Canadian and Mexican public health officials continue to monitor this situation closely in collaboration with their international partners. Additional information on this situation will be shared by each country as it becomes available.

Source(s): Public Health Agency of Canada
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

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