News and Alerts

University SARS Guidelines

May 16, 2003

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners as part of a global collaboration to address the outbreak of a respiratory illness called severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Comprehensive activities are taking place to prevent importation and spread of SARS from inbound passengers from areas with SARS, including isolation of SARS patients and quarantine of their exposed contacts, pre-embarkation screening of persons traveling, assessment by health authorities of ill persons aboard arriving flights, distribution of health alert notices to travelers arriving in the United States, and rapid detection and isolation of persons in the United States. At this time, CDC does not recommend quarantine of persons arriving from areas with SARS. In addition, the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing classes, meetings or other gatherings that will include persons traveling to the United States from areas with SARS.

Stony Brook University encourages students, faculty and staff to be informed about the international situation concerning SARS and to become familiar with the CDC health and travel advisories. University health and safety officials have been monitoring public health reports, guidelines and advisories concerning SARS and are prepared to respond should a suspected SARS case appear within the university community.

Interim Guidelines:
Anyone who has recently traveled to a country where the CDC has issued a Travel Advisory or Alert, or have had close contact with someone with suspected or probable SARS, should monitor their health for 10 days.
If you become aware of a person from an area with SARS who develops fever or respiratory symptoms, the following steps should be taken:
  • Exclude the ill person from activities (e.g., classes, meetings, and other public areas) and locate him/her in a separate area to minimize contact with other people while awaiting further medical evaluation.
  • Consult a healthcare provider. Alert appropriate health-care personnel that an individual from an area with SARS requires evaluation, so that advance preparations can be made to implement infection control procedures to prevent transmission to others during transport and in the health-care setting.
  • Remind the treating health-care provider to notify the appropriate state or local health officials if SARS is suspected.
Departments and individuals who are expecting people arriving from areas with SARS should send basic information about SARS, including information in the CDC health alert notice and a reminder about the importance of hand hygiene, to the participants before departure (by email, for example.)
  • Notify the participants (prior to departure) that persons traveling from areas with SARS with fever or respiratory symptoms or exposure to SARS patients within 10 days prior to scheduled departure should not travel and should seek medical evaluation.
Copies of the CDC health alert notices and basic information about SARS will be made available through Student Health Services (for students), Employee Health Services (for Hospital Employees), Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety.
For the latest information about SARS, including travel advisories, please go to:
Additional information about SARS may be found at the following websites:
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact:
Symptoms of SARS (Source: CDC website)
In general, SARS begins with a fever greater than 100.4°F (38.0°C). Other symptoms may include headache, an overall feeling of discomfort, and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms. After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry cough and have trouble breathing.

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