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Dartmouth News
>  News Releases >   2003 >   April

Emergency Preparedness

Posted 04/22/03

Updates and Information for the Dartmouth Community

To: Dartmouth Students, Staff and Faculty
From: John Turco, M.D.,Director Dartmouth College Health Service
Date: April 22, 2003
Re: SARS Update

This memo provides additional information regarding SARS (the acute respiratory illness caused by a newly identified virus believed to be related to the cold virus) and Dartmouth since my last memo to the Dartmouth community in mid April. The College has established a committee that includes myself and several other administrators to monitor the situation and to ensure that Dartmouth is prepared.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued a travel advisory suggesting that people planning elective or nonessential travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, Singapore, and Hanoi, Vietnam, should postpone their trips until further notice. The CDC also issued an alert for travelers who have recently visited Toronto, Ontario. I would urge all employees and faculty to follow these CDC travel guidelines.

As a result of the CDC's travel advisory, Dartmouth has decided to cancel the Foreign Study Program in China, which was scheduled for this summer.

In addition, I would like to remind you that if you have recently (within the last 10 days) returned to the United States from mainland China, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Vietnam, Singapore or Toronto you should be aware of the early symptoms of SARS. If these symptoms appear you should immediately call the DHMC emergency room for advice concerning getting evaluated. It is best to call ahead since the medical center is in the process of establishing isolated areas to evaluate patients with a possible SARS infection. The early symptoms include a fever of 100.5º F or higher (38º C or more) accompanied by respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.

If you are a student concerned that you may have symptoms similar to the ones described above and would like to speak with a healthcare provider before making the decision to go to the emergency room, please call Dick's House at 603-650-1484. If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact your primary care physician.

So far, there have been no reported cases of confirmed or suspected SARS at Dartmouth, but we are monitoring the situation carefully. We are in touch with the New Hampshire Department of Health and with our colleagues at DHMC.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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