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Delaware Health Alert Network #19

March 29, 2003 6:50 pm


Health Update
UPDATED INTERIM U.S. SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (SARS) CASE DEFINITION

The previous CDC SARS case definition (published March 22, 2003) has been updated as follows:

  • Areas with documented or suspected community transmission of SARS have been expanded to include all of mainland China in addition to areas previously listed.

Suspected Case:

Respiratory illness of unknown etiology with onset since February 1, 2003, and the following criteria:

  • Measured temperature 100.5 °F (>38° C) AND
  • One or more clinical findings of respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, hypoxia or radiographic findings of either pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome) AND
  • Travel within 10 days of onset of symptoms to an area with documented or suspected community transmission of SARS (see list below; excludes areas with secondary cases limited to healthcare workers or direct household contacts) OR
  • Close contact* within 10 days of onset of symptoms with either a person with a respiratory illness who traveled to a SARS area or a person known to be a suspect SARS case.

*Close contact is defined as having cared for, having lived with or having direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a patient known to be a suspect SARS case.

Areas with documented or suspected community transmission of SARS:

Peoples' Republic of China (i.e., mainland China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region); Hanoi, Vietnam and Singapore.

Note: Suspect cases with either radiographic evidence of pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome; or evidence of unexplained respiratory distress syndrome by autopsy are designated "probable" cases by the WHO case definition.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
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