SARS Warden Notice Guidance About Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome for Americans Living Abroad
Issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mar 27, 2003
for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS, has received reports of outbreaks
of a respiratory illness, being referred to as Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome, or SARS. The number of cases of SARS is subject to change as
surveillance increases and cases are identified and confirmed. The most
current case count for the U.S. can be found on CDC's
Media Relations website. Updated case counts and affected countries
are available on the "Cumulative
number of reported suspect and probable cases (SARS)" page on
the World Health Organization (WHO) website. Cases appear to primarily
involve health-care workers caring for patients with SARS and close family
contacts. CDC is working closely with WHO and country partners in efforts
to define the etiology of this infection, track patterns of its transmission,
and determine effective strategies for its control and prevention. At
present, a CDC travel advisory recommends that people with elective or
nonessential travel to Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, People’s
Republic of China, and Hanoi, Vietnam, consider postponing such travel.
Additional information is available on this
website and on WHO website.
are on the alert for people with specific symptoms of respiratory illness.
The case definition for suspected SARS is subject to change, particularly
with regard to travel history, as illness is reported in other geographic
areas. The most current definition can be accessed at the SARS
case definition web page.
prevention of new cases is based on following appropriate infection control
measures when coming in close contact with cases of SARS. Such close contact
includes direct care of case patients, or direct contact with respiratory
secretions and body fluids of case patients. For information on infection
control measures, see Updated
Interim Domestic Infection Control Guidance in the Health Care and Community
Setting for Patients with Suspected SARS.
should recommend to U.S. expatriates that they avoid situations in which
they could be exposed to patients with SARS. In addition, on March 23
the U.S. Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of family
members at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate General in Ho Chi
Minh City. Because of health concerns in Vietnam about SARS, the current
capacity of health-care facilities to accept and manage SARS cases, and
the lack of readily accessible medical evacuation services, the Department
of State warns U.S. citizens, particularly those traveling with children,
to defer nonemergency travel to Vietnam at this time. The full text of
this announcement is available at http://travel.state.gov/vietnam_warning.html.
including those working for U.S. medical nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs), with elective activities planned in inpatient health-care settings
in regions where cases have been found are recommended to postpone such
activities to avoid exposure to their patients, to other health-care workers
and to themselves. For additional information for health-care providers
and consular officials, see http://travel.state.gov/s_syndrome_factsheet.html.
there is no evidence to suggest that infection is spread in assemblies
of large numbers of people (e.g., schools, churches, or other non-health-care
settings). If new information suggests otherwise, notice will be provided.
If a person
becomes ill with fever, respiratory symptoms, or other symptoms consistent
with SARS, following travel to an affected region or close contact with
a SARS case, local health authorities should be notified.
of the evolving nature of this situation, CDC and WHO websites should
be consulted regularly for updates.