April 28, 2003
HONOLULU - The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today
announced that another of the state’s "suspect" severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases has been ruled out, according to
preliminary test results from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). The case in question involves a woman who traveled to
Northern China in mid March as part of a tour group.
"Even though this case turned out not to be SARS the public still
needs to remain vigilant," said Paul Effler, State Epidemiologist.
"People returning to Hawaii from infected areas should monitor their
own health and get medical attention right away should they become
DOH continues active surveillance contacting 45 medical facilities
around the state daily, looking for new cases and monitoring levels of
respiratory illness. The department has also been working with the
Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) and the Hawaii Hotel Association to
develop protocols in the event that a visitor from a SARS infected area
becomes ill while in Hawaii.
"We want to help visitors get prompt, quality medical care, limit
exposure to others and prevent transmission of the disease," said
Effler. "With early detection and treatment, the odds of recovery for
most people are good."
The World Health Organization (WHO) today removed Vietnam from the
list of SARS affected areas, making it the first country to
successfully contain its SARS outbreak. The change in Vietnam’s
status follows 20 consecutive days (the duration of two incubation
periods) since the last new case was detected.
SARS is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in
Asia, North America, and Europe. The illness usually begins with a
fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4°F). The fever is
sometimes associated with chills or other symptoms, including headache,
general feeling of discomfort and body aches. Some people also
experience mild respiratory symptoms at the outset.
Scientists at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously
unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. The new coronavirus is
the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS.
Additional information is available at 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