SARS Disease Surveillance


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Since late February 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been investigating an outbreak of a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Areas reported to have local transmission include the Guangdong, Shanxi and Taiwan Provinces of China; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore; and Toronto, Canada. With the exception of Canada, CDC officials are meeting and distributing health alert cards to all passengers on planes, cargo ships and cruise ships coming from these areas. Travelers are being educated on symptoms and encouraged to seek medical attention should they become symptomatic.

SARS symptoms include fever (100.5° F. or higher) with coughing and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, developing on or after Feb. 1, 2003. Individuals who have these symptoms and have recently traveled to any of the identified affected areas or who have direct contact with a traveler from an affected area who is now sick, should seek medical attention. Health care providers have been alerted to the possible spread of the disease and have received guidelines on infection control.

For more information, contact the Health Department’s Communicable Disease Unit at 703-246-2433, TTY 703-591-6435, or call the CDC Public Response hotline at 888-246-2675 (English), 888-246-2857 (Espanol), TTY 866-874-2646.

- CDC-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- World Health Organization SARS Surveillance
- Virginia Department Of Health
- Virginia Department of Health's Epidemiology Web site
- CDC Health Travel Advice for SARS

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