Syracuse University students showing no signs of SARS virus
Syracuse University students showing no signs of SARS virusMay 02, 2003Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
A Syracuse University student considered a suspect Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) case under Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols completed his 10-day monitoring period with no virus symptoms and returned to campus this week to complete the spring semester.
SU Health Services has closely monitored the student’s health and that of his SU roommates and girlfriend after the CDC designated him as a suspect SARS case April 21. None of the students have displayed SARS symptoms.
The student had traveled to Toronto on a fraternity outing April 11-13. Upon his return, he went to the University’s health center, complaining of a fever and respiratory distress. He was evaluated and transported to Crouse Hospital for treatment. Once his condition had improved, he was discharged April 18.
On April 21, the CDC officially classified Toronto as a SARS affected area and the student entered a 10-day monitoring period, which was extended to a small handful of individuals considered to have the most direct contact with him. The student returned to his home out of state during this time.
As of May 1, SU Health Services had screened 49 students who came to the health center with respiratory symptoms. None of the students met the criteria for SARS.
On March 28, SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA) informed the 31 students in the University’s spring semester program in Hong Kong that the program would be shortened due to SARS concerns. Hong Kong, mainland China, Hanoi (Vietnam), Singapore and Toronto are all classified as areas with documented or suspected community transmission of SARS. The students (15 from SU; 16 from other U.S. institutions) returned to the United States from March 30 to April 7. None have shown signs of the SARS virus.
In cooperation with the Onondaga County Health Department, SU Health Services is closely monitoring CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) updates and bulletins in reference to the changing epidemiology, advances in testing, and other aspects of this emerging infectious disease.
In addition, a University committee is examining the implications of the outbreak on University travel policies and is exploring additional screening protocols and SARS education efforts.
The latest information on SARS is available on the CDC and the WHO Web sites: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars and http://www.who.int/csr/sars/en. Information is also available from SU Health Services at 443-2666.