TORONTO, May 3, 2003 ( –  A May 1 article in the National Post analyses the exaggerated risk perception of SARS related to the outbreak of the disease in Toronto. The article is the second in a series presented by the Health Law Group of the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto.  Authors Trebilock and Hinds write, “As of Wednesday, 21 (now 23) people had died of SARS in Toronto – about 8% of those who’d contracted the disease. However, over the same eight-week period, more that 2,000 Torontonians died from other causes. Indeed, the weekly mortality rate associated with SARS in Toronto over this period was only about a quarter the rate associated with AIDS, one-seventh the rate associated with death from unintentional injury, one eighth the rate associated with pneumonia and influenza, and one-65th the rate associated with cancer.”

The authors note that most Torontonians have been going about their daily lives in a normal manner and “have intuitively inferred that the risk of contacting SARS is very low.” Outside of Toronto though, they note heavy media coverage of the SARS outbreak has caused visitors to Canada to dramatically overestimate the risk of contracting SARS in Toronto.  See the Post article   See also WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION ACCUSED OF USING SARS FOR POLITICAL AGENDAS CORCORAN SAYS WHO PRACTICED DELIBERATE INCOMPETENCE OVER TORONTO SARS TRAVEL ADVISORY