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.
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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