NJDOE News
For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Tom Rosenthal
    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock

    609-292-1126

For Release: April 9, 2003


ADVISORY:

Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Senior Services, Issues Information about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

The Department of Education (DOE), working with the state Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS), is reporting no reported cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in New Jersey schools, but is asking nevertheless for school districts and parents statewide to be mindful of the disease.

DOE officials support the NJDHSS’ recommendation that quarantine measures at this time in schools, hospitals or other institutions are not necessary. Nonetheless, the DOE asks that districts be mindful of the disease and stay informed as much as possible as a simple precautionary measure.

The NJDHSS has recently received numerous inquiries regarding quarantine measures in non-healthcare facilities. At this time, in the United States, there is no indication of community transmission of SARS, and there have been no SARS cases reported at schools, other institutions and public gatherings, according to NJDHSS.

Cases of SARS continue to be reported primarily among people who have had direct close contact with an infected person, such as those sharing a household with a SARS patient and health care workers who did not use infection control procedures while attending to a SARS patient.

Travelers returning to the United States from areas with documented SARS transmission and who do NOT have any symptoms or fever or respiratory illness, do NOT have to limit their activities, according to the NJDHSS.

The NJDHSS recommends people visit the CDC Web Site, at www.cdc.gov, regarding updated information on SARS. The Web Site includes information for clinicians, as well as updates on the worldwide investigations, guidelines for infection control and quarantine, and travel advisories.

As a reminder, the SARS case definition (updated on March 29) is available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/casedefinition.htm.