A second suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARs) case in Northern Virginia has been reported.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, an adult patient, who recently traveled to parts of Asia associated with SARs, is currently hospitalized and under observation in accordance with the protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventive (CDC). Due to patient confidently, the individual's name, age or other identifying is not being released by the state health department.
In mid-February a woman from Loudoun County, who had also traveled to parts of Asia, was treated for what was later believed to be SARs and released from a local hospital.
Should the most recent case prove to be SARS, it will bring the state's total of reported suspected cases to three. A previously identified case central Virginia has now been confirmed as Influenza A, according to the state health department.
The CDC and World Health Organization issued alerts in mid-March after learning of several cases of atypical respiratory illness in Canada among people who had just returned from traveling in Southeast Asia.
SARS symptoms include coughing, fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing developing in persons who have recently traveled or had close contact with those who have traveled to countries where the illness has already been found. Individuals with these symptoms, and who have either traveled or came in close contact with individuals who have traveled to affected sites, should see a health-care provider immediately and provide their travel history. Health-care providers have already been alerted to the possible spread of the disease and have received guidelines on infection control.
For more information, log on to the Virginia Department of Health's Web site at www.vdh.state.va.us, or call the CDC Public Response hot line at 888-246-2675 (English), 888-246-2857 (Espanol), or 866-874-2646 (TYY).