SARS Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
May 13, 2003
This Public Announcement updates information on medical evacuation of Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-affected individuals, and notes
curtailment of some commercial air travel into and out of affected countries
and potential restrictions on travel of SARS patients. This supersedes the
Public Announcement issued on April 24, 2003, and expires on September 7,
This Public Announcement reminds Americans that the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a number of travel advisories for
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which are being posted on its web
site (www.cdc.gov). Health alert notices are being distributed at U.S.
airports to people arriving from SARS-affected areas. Americans planning
travel to SARS-affected areas should monitor the CDC's web site for the
latest information. In addition, Americans should be aware that some
countries may bar entry to or quarantine travelers arriving from
SARS-affected areas. Should a U.S. Mission in a country become aware of such
entry restrictions, it may advise U.S. government employees to postpone
non-essential travel to that country. This information would also be posted
with the consular information sheet for that country on our web site,
travel.state.gov, or travelers can contact our information line at
1-888-407-4747. Prospective parents of adoptees in SARS-affected countries
should consult the appropriate link on adoptions at the CDC website,
The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are tracking SARS's origin
and method of transmission as well as determining how its spread can be
contained. SARS has severely taxed health care systems in affected
countries; neighboring countries have curtailed flights in and out of
affected locations and blocked transfer of SARS patients for medical care.
In light of the continually evolving nature of the geographic spread of
SARS, American citizens should regularly consult the CDC's website
(www.cdc.gov) and the WHO's website (www.who.int) for updates.
Strong efforts are being made to contain SARS. Some countries have
implemented measures such as mandatory screening of incoming passengers at
airports, and persons with SARS-like symptoms may be quarantined and/or sent
to designated hospitals until the authorities are satisfied they do not have
Medical evacuation of SARS patients remains problematic. Securing transport
and locating a destination willing to accept such patients is difficult, if
not impossible. Since medical evacuation possibilities may change, family
members of SARS patients may wish to consult with the nearest U.S.
Embassy/Consulate General for the latest information.
Contact Information for the CDC:
English (888) 246-2675
Spanish (888) 246-2857
TTY (866) 874-2646
Mon-Fri 8am-11pm EST
Sat-Sun 10am-8pm EST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333
American citizens currently in or planning to travel to SARS-affected areas
should also consult the Consular Information Sheets for these countries
available at the Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov.
American citizens may also contact the Department of State toll-free at
1-888-407-4747, or, if calling from overseas,
317-472-2328, for information.