CDC SARS Site Goes Online

The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now maintains an updated Web site with clinical information on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the disease of unknown cause affecting patients from Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Early manifestations in these patients have included influenza-like symptoms such as fever, myalgias, headache, sore throat, dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. In some cases these symptoms are followed by hypoxia, pneumonia, and occasionally acute respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation and death. Laboratory findings may include thrombocytopenia and leukopenia.

Some close contacts, including healthcare workers, have developed similar illnesses. In response to these developments, the CDC is initiating surveillance for cases of SARS among recent travelers or their close contacts.

The CDC’s Web site contains a special section on SARS for clinical providers, containing case definitions, clinical descriptions, diagnosis/evalulation procedures, exposure management, isolation and infection control, treatment, reporting and references.

To access the site go to: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/index.htm.

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