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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2003
CONTACT: Don Pickard, Health Department, (816) 840-2548

SARS plan in effect for KCI

The Health Department and the Aviation Department have a contingency plan in place if a passenger arrives at KCI with a credible case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, an atypical respiratory illness recently reported in people in several countries. Under the plan, inbound flight crews will be responsible for notifying KCI of medical emergencies. Crews will triage the situation by determining if any passengers meet SARS criteria. These are the specific conditions that must be met to be considered a potential SARS case:

Fever (>38° C or 100.4° F); AND one or more signs or symptoms of respiratory illness including: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; AND one or more of the following:

History of travel to Hong Kong; Guangdong Province in the People's Republic of China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Singapore; or Toronto, Canada within seven days of symptom onset, or close contact with people with respiratory illness having the preceding travel history. Close contact includes having cared for, having lived with, or having had direct contact with respiratory secretions and body fluids of a person with SARS.

If a passenger meets the criteria, the KCI Police Department, other emergency responders and the Health Department will be notified and the passenger will receive treatment. Health Department officials will detain the other passengers just long enough to get personal information, including contact numbers for the next 10 days. They will be given information about SARS and what to do if they develop symptoms consistent with SARS cases. The goal of this plan is to provide as much protection as possible to the public while minimizing the inconvenience of travelers.

For more information about SARS, refer to the Health Department’s fact sheets, or visit the Health Department’s Web site (http://www.kcmo.org/health.nsf/web/home), the CDC’s Web site (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars), or the WHO’s Web site (http://www.who.int/en).

    
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