The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked people who might have severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, not to show up at their doctor's office or the hospital without calling ahead. Immediate isolation of suspected SARS patients and protection of healthcare workers from the moment of first contact are important to preventing the disease's spread, CDC Director Julie Gerberding said yesterday. Patients with suspected SARS who arrive at healthcare settings without available isolation rooms should be asked to wear a standard issue surgical mask, and healthcare workers should wear a standard respirator while evaluating such patients, Gerberding said. Most hospital emergency rooms are equipped with sufficient isolation capacity, and many have added to their triage forms questions about travel to SARS-infected areas, she said. There are 3,909 SARS cases globally, including 39 probable cases in the U.S., the CDC said. -- by Julie Piotrowski
CDC urges quick isolation of suspected SARS cases
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.