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UC Systemwide Guidelines concerning Severe Acute Respiratory
for Persons Traveling to or from SARS Affected Areas - May 9,
SARS Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is an acute respiratory infection
that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe. SARS
usually begins with a fever greater than 100.4 F [>38.0 C]. Other signs
and symptoms may include headache, overall discomfort, body aches, and
respiratory symptoms. Diagnostic criteria include travel (including transit
in an airport) within 10 days of onset of symptoms to an area with current
or recently documented or suspected community transmission of SARS or
close contact within 10 days of onset of symptoms with a person known
or suspected to have SARS.
What to do if you think you have SARS or SARS
symptoms - CDC Recommendations
- If you become ill with fever and respiratory symptoms (for example,
cough or shortness of breath), a visit to a health care provider is
strongly recommended. Telephone the provider about your travel
history and your symptoms prior to going to the office or emergency
room so arrangements can be made, if necessary, to prevent transmission
to others in the health care setting.
CDC Travel Recommendations, Advisories, and
Most of the U.S. cases of SARS have occurred among travelers returning
from parts of the world affected by SARS. There have been very few cases
as a result of spread to close contacts such as family members and health
care workers. Currently, there is no evidence that SARS is spreading more
widely in the community in the United States.
Travel advisories have been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO)
and the CDC advising travelers to postpone all non-essential travel to
SARS affected areas. Travel advisories are available at the CDC website
The University of California is engaged in a wide range of activities
and programs that involve international travel by students, faculty, staff
and visitors. In the course of these endeavors the University gives priority
to protecting the public health and the safety and well-being of members
of our campus communities. The following guidelines pertaining to SARS
are based upon CDC recommendations.
In keeping with the recommendations issued by
- The University strongly advises students, faculty and staff to postpone
all non-essential travel to SARS affected countries and regions until
such time as CDC travel advisories are modified or rescinded.
In circumstances in which travel is deemed essential:
- Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors arriving from SARS affected
areas should be advised to adhere to the CDC’s Health Alert Notice
for travelers arriving in the U.S. from SARS affected areas.
- For campuses sponsoring organized programs that include individuals
arriving from SARS affected areas, campus officials should take appropriate
steps to help ensure that (1) travelers adhere to CDC recommendations
regarding daily self-monitoring of their health, including temperature
measurement, and notification of their health care providers in the
event of illness, fever, or respiratory symptoms; and (2) sufficient
local resources are available, if necessary, to meet CDC recommendations
regarding diagnosis, evaluation and management of symptomatic individuals.
- The University requests that students, faculty, and staff returning
from SARS affected areas contact a designated campus official or office,
as defined by each campus, before returning to campus or other University
The designated campus health care official will conduct a telephone interview
and/or other assessment to determine whether or not an in-person health
screening is warranted. Persons returning from affected areas will be
counseled about SARS symptoms, CDC recommendations for daily self-monitoring
of health status, including temperature measurement, infection control
measures for themselves and others, and recommendations regarding notification,
treatment, and the need to avoid contact with others at the first sign
of illness. Information about accessing local health resources should
be provided as part of this interaction. The designated campus health
official should notify local health department authorities immediately
if the patient is considered a suspected or probable SARS case.
- UC campuses should facilitate opportunities for counseling, guidance
and/or active surveillance to assure that individuals understand and
can comply with CDC recommendations for daily self-monitoring of health
status, including temperature measurement, infection control measures,
and CDC recommendations regarding notification, treatment, and the need
to avoid contact with others at the first sign of illness. This should
occur by creating a SARS Information Line or other resource that is
widely publicized on each campus.
- Campus officials and individuals hosting or sponsoring newly arriving
faculty, staff, students, and other visitors from SARS affected areas
should facilitate compliance with these recommendations.
Guidelines and Recommendations for UC Healthcare
Workers (HCW) and Staff
The University recognizes that providing care and diagnostic
services to individuals with suspected, probable, or confirmed cases of
SARS (as well as with other infectious diseases) may fall within the course
and scope of the responsibilities of many University employees. Professional
standards and UC employment expectations require health care workers to
be informed about and to follow strict infection control practices, both
at the workplace and at home.
Hospital infection control professionals and epidemiologists
at UC medical centers have developed detailed policy recommendations
and guidelines to meet the needs of students, faculty, and
staff who may be exposed and/or symptomatic following contact
with suspected or probable SARS patients. These policies include
following CDC recommendations for self-monitoring of health
status and infection control measures for themselves and others;
and recommendations regarding notification, treatment, and
the need to avoid contact with others at the first sign of
illness. Adherence to these policies is mandatory.
These detailed recommendations are intended to minimize the
potential for community spread of SARS and to ensure maximum
protection of HCWs and all other individuals who work in or
visit health care settings. Asymptomatic HCWs and other personnel
are expected to continue to perform their normal duties unless
or until they develop symptoms or signs that may be characteristic
Recommendations concerning Visitors for Graduation
and Other Brief Events
All visitors from SARS affected areas will receive a Health Alert
Notice for International Travelers upon arrival in the U.S. and will be
expected to follow its guidelines. Individuals expecting visitors from
SARS affected areas are asked to provide their guests with the number
for a SARS information line. This may be the CDC Hotline number, the California
Department of Health Services Hotline number, a number offered by the
local health department, a local campus number, or a combination of these.
Additionally, guests should receive access to contact information for
a designated campus official or office in the event that they have concerns
that are not addressed satisfactorily by the above measures.
The University will issue periodic updates as needed and as new
information is available.