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Maintaining Vigilance for SARS

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The WHO officially announced on 5 July 2003 that the worldwide outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been contained

This was following the elapse of 20 days (two incubation periods) since the last reported probable case in Taiwan was isolated on 15 June. There has been no confirmed evidence of human to human transmission of SARS anywhere in the world from that time until the date of release of this document. More than 8400 cases of SARS, including more than 900 deaths, have been reported to the WHO since 1 November 2002, when SARS emerged in Guangdong Province in China (see the WHO website at: for more information about the SARS outbreak). Most of the reported SARS cases occurred in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Toronto, Taiwan, and Hanoi. One case of SARS was confirmed in a foreign tourist who became ill in Australia after arriving via Hong Kong. Her illness was diagnosed retrospectively by serological tests performed after her return to her country of origin. Many returned travellers and visitors to Australia with febrile illnesses were investigated for SARS during the outbreak period (see the Commonwealth Government website at: for more information about the SARS response in Australia). Although SARS transmission has been halted internationally, the disease may re-emerge and travellers and health care providers must remain alert for the foreseeable future for cases of atypical pneumonia consistent with SARS.(Source: RACGP, Endorsed 15 September, 2003)

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Posted On: 2 October, 2003
Modified On: 5 December, 2013

Created by: myVMC