CDC chief concerned about workplace spread of SARS - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

CDC chief concerned about workplace spread of SARS

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April 10, 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- The respiratory virus known as SARS has appeared to spread in the United States only to family members of health workers with close contact to an infected person.

Until now.

Thursday, Doctor Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there may be a case of severe acute respiratory syndrome spreading through the workplace.

She said a suspected SARS virus patient who became ill after traveling to Asia may have infected a co-worker in Florida, a development that makes her "very concerned."

So far, a dozen people, nine family members and three health workers, were infected after coming into close contact with a person with SARS. The rest of the 166 suspected American cases involve people who were infected while traveling in Asia.

In the Gainesville, Florida, area, a 47-year-old woman is believed to have been infected at work by a 60-year-old woman who was the nation's first suspected SARS case, health officials say.

Gerberding says the CDC will post new guidance regarding SARS patients for schools and the workplace. The Florida case is being investigated. The Florida transmission has not been proven yet.

On the Net: CDC SARS info: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/SARS

World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en

posted at 10:25AM by dave.miller@walb.com