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Guidance about SARS for Persons Traveling to Areas Where SARS Cases Have Been Reported
February 11, 2004
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There is currently no evidence of person-to-person transmission of SARS in the world. Since the end of the global outbreak in July 2003, two cases of SARS associated with laboratory exposures have been reported - one case in Singapore in September 2003 and one in Taiwan in December 2003. In addition, since December 16, 2003, a few sporadic cases of SARS have been reported in China. However, none of the contacts of these cases has developed a SARS-like illness, and there is no evidence of any association among the cases. The source of infection in these persons has not been determined. See CDC's SARS website for details and updated information on these sporadic cases. Travel information is provided on CDC's Traveler's Health website.
During the 2003 global outbreak, most persons reported as SARS cases in the United States were exposed through foreign travel to countries with outbreaks of SARS, with only limited secondary spread to close contacts* such as family members and healthcare workers. Guidance for the management of SARS exposures in healthcare settings, as well as infection control precautions for SARS patients and their close contacts in household settings, is provided in Supplement I, Public Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness and Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The following guidance is provided for persons (other than healthcare workers or household contacts) who are traveling to areas where SARS cases have been reported. These recommendations are based on the experience to date and may be revised as more information becomes available.
Before you leave:
While you are in an area where SARS cases have been reported:
After your return:
* Close contact is defined as having cared for or lived with a person known to have SARS or having a high likelihood of direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a patient known to have SARS. Examples of close contact include kissing or embracing, sharing eating or drinking utensils, close conversation (<3 feet), physical examination, and any other direct physical contact between persons. Close contact does not include activities such as walking by a person or briefly sitting across a waiting room or office.
Information provided by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).