March 31, 2003
HONOLULU - Hawaii State Department of Health officials have reported
two additional suspect cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS) in the state. One of the individuals is hospitalized, but
responding well to treatment and expected to be discharged soon. The
second case did not require hospitalization.
"The Department of Health was aware of these respiratory cases
earlier but only ruled them suspect SARS after the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened the case definition last Friday,
expanding the definition to include travel anywhere in Mainland China,"
said State Epidemiologist Paul Effler, M.D.
The two adults were part of a tour group that traveled to Northern
China in mid March. Health officials say that while the cases
technically meet clinical definition it should be noted that other
members of the tour group started the trip with respiratory ailments,
which are common this time of year.
SARS is a respiratory illness that recently appeared in people
living in or traveling to Asia. To date, over 1,600 suspect cases and
59 deaths have been reported worldwide. Hawaii now has a total of 5
suspect cases. All the individuals have either fully recovered or are
expected to do so.
"The department is maintaining increased surveillance, contacting 45
health facilities every day looking for suspect cases or increases in
the number of respiratory ailments," said Hawaii State Director of
Health Chiyome Fukino, M.D. "The best defense against the transmission
of illnesses like SARS is common sense disease prevention techniques,
such as good hand hygiene."
- Fever higher than100.4°F and
- One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of
breath, difficulty in breathing and
- Either close contact with a person diagnosed with SARS or recent
travel to areas with documented transmission of SARS.
Detailed information is also available through the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention at 1(888) 246-2675 or www.cdc.gov and via the World
Health Organization web site at www.who.int.
For more information, contact:
Phone: (808) 586-4442
Laura M. Lott
Phone: (808) 586-4418