Local News

North Carolina Has First Confirmed Case Of SARS

Posted June 9, 2003

— According to the State of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, laboratory tests have confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome in an Orange County man who was considered a probable case last week.

The case is the first confirmed case of SARS in North Carolina and the eighth in the United States.

The condition of the man, who has been recovering at home under isolation, continues to improve. He was never hospitalized.

The man visited Toronto in mid-May. He was identified Friday as having a probable case of the illness after he developed fever and respiratory symptoms upon his return home.

Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Carol Schriber said Monday that test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis.

None of the man's family, also quarantined at home, has shown any symptoms. None of his co-workers or other acquaintances have been quarantined, either.

"He is doing fine," Schriber said Monday. "His symptoms are abating. He was never that ill."

State health officials are working with authorities in Canada to trace the source of his infection. Officials here have gotten in touch with all they people they believe may have been exposed to the man while his condition was infectious.

The state already had eight "suspected" cases of the disease as defined by criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All those cases turned out negative.

According to the World Health Organization, 8,421 probable SARS cases and 784 deaths have been reported. The CDC reports the worldwide mortality rate at eight percent.

Canada has had 33 deaths from SARS. Officials in Toronto reported the deaths of a 66-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man on Sunday.

The initial wave of infections in Canada's largest city was controlled by May. A second outbreak that spread from one undiagnosed case in a hospital has been mostly brought under control.

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