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     Health - SARS updates

 

     2004

   - Cessation of temperature checks at border checkpoints from 9 Jun 2004 

   - SARS situation in China; precautionary measures in Singapore

   - SARS control measures in hospitals & clinics stepped down

     2003

   - New SARS case in Taiwan

 

SITUATION UPDATE ON SARS PREVENTIVE MEASURES IN SINGAPORE

 Background:

On Wednesday, 17 Dec 2003, the Ministry of Health reported on a Taiwanese SARS patient who was in Singapore from 7 Dec 2003 to 10 Dec 2003. The patient was afebrile throughout his three days here. He departed Singapore early in the morning of 10 December 2003, and developed fever only in the evening on the same day following his return to Taiwan.

All contacts are well

Another contact of the SARS patient has been admitted to the Communicable Disease Centre. This makes it a total of 6 contacts who have been admitted. However, all the 6 contacts have been diagnosed as non-SARS. In addition, PCR tests for SARS coronavirus are negative for all 6 cases. All other contacts of the SARS patient remain well.

In line with the 10 day incubation period, we will be lifting the HQO at midnight today. All persons on HQO are well and should be able to return to normal activities immediately.

The Singaporean man who was on Flight CI-662 and seated in the same area as the Taiwanese SARS patient will be returning to Singapore this evening. He reports that he is well. As a precaution, arrangements have been made for him to be medically assessed in Changi Airport upon his arrival.

With the stringent public health measures that are in place, the Ministry would like to assure the public that there is no cause for alarm. The Ministry is monitoring the situation closely and has taken the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of SARS.

The Ministry of Health

19 December 2003

 

SITUATION UPDATE ON SARS PREVENTIVE MEASURES IN SINGAPORE

Background:

The Ministry of Health reported yesterday on a Taiwanese SARS patient who was in Singapore from 7 Dec 2003 to 10 Dec 2003. The patient was afebrile throughout his three days here. He departed Singapore early in the morning of 10 December 2003, and developed fever only in the evening on the same day following his return to Taiwan.

Contact tracing completed

The Ministry of Health has completed its contact tracing. A total of 276 people have been identified to have come into contact with the Taiwanese SARS patient while he was in Singapore from 7th to 10th December. This includes 76 additional contacts who were on flight CI-662 from Singapore to Taiwan on 10 Dec 03 and who had returned to Singapore. They had not been seated close to the Taiwanese patient. They are currently being contacted to ensure that they are well.

The Ministry has contacted the Singaporean man who was on Flight CI-662 and seated in the same area as the Taiwanese SARS patient. The Singaporean man had returned to Singapore but had left the country again. He reported that he is well. MOH has advised him to monitor himself for fever and symptoms and to seek medical attention should he be unwell. MOH has also notified the authorities in that country.

The Ministry has identified another 5 persons to be placed on HQO till 19 Dec. This brings the total number of persons on Home Quarantine Order (HQO) to 75. The rest are on telephone surveillance and are advised to monitor their own temperature and to seek medical attention when they are unwell.

Only 5 contacts are unwell so far. This includes one person who had been placed under home quarantine order. They have been assessed by the Infectious Disease physicians at the Communicable Disease Centre. Although all of them have been diagnosed as non-SARS, as a precautionary measure, they have been admitted to the Communicable Disease Centre.

With the stringent public health measures that are in place, the Ministry would like to assure the public that there is no cause for alarm. The Ministry is monitoring the situation closely and has taken the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of SARS.

 

The Ministry of Health

18 December 2003

 

MOH PRESS RELEASE  11 Sep 2003

Update on the new probable SARS case
The 27-year old patient, warded in CDC2, is doing well and has no fever. His family members are well, and so are all his direct contacts who are on Home Quarantine Orders. So far, no additional HQOs have been issued, apart from the 25 HQOs issued earlier.
Following the World Health Organisation's (WHO) advice for an independent assessment, we have sent samples from the patient for further testing at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta.
A full investigation will be carried out to establish the source of infection. As part of this exercise, the Ministry has sought the help of biosafety experts from the WHO and CDC Atlanta, to audit the two laboratories, namely, the Environmental Health Institute and the Microbiology Laboratory of NUS, where the patient worked. The WHO and CDC Atlanta have agreed to send two experts each to assist in the investigations, which will commence when they arrive in Singapore next week. They will review biosafety measures at the two laboratories, including practices, facilities and equipment, and establish whether the laboratories could have been the source of infection for the new probable case .
MOH has assessed that there is no cause for alarm as the case is a single and isolated case and of low public health risk. The WHO agrees with our assessment. According to a WHO statement issued yesterday, "the Singapore case is mild, isolated and has not produced secondary cases, and therefore is not regarded as a public health concern". It also said that "Singapore continues to be a safe destination for travellers, and travellers from Singapore pose no risk to other countries". WHO has also mentioned that it will not be issuing any travel advisory. The full statement is available at
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2003_09_10/en/

   - Review Panel on new SARS case and biosafety

Singapore confirms first Sars case

The Ministry of Health has confirmed Singapore's first Sars case since May 2003.

MOH PRESS RELEASE  9 SEP 2003

A new probable SARS case

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) has picked up a new probable SARS case. It appears to be a single, isolated case. The patient is currently isolated at the Communicable Disease Centre. Investigations are on-going to establish the source of infection. His contacts have largely been followed up and all of them are well. As a precautionary measure, MOH has served HQOs on his close contacts.

Chronology of event

The patient is a 27-year-old Chinese Singaporean post-doctoral student working on West Nile virus at a microbiology laboratory in the National University of Singapore (NUS). He also does some work at the Environment Health Institute (EHI) laboratory of the National Environment Agency. He last visited the EHI laboratory on 23 August 03. He has no history of travel to previously SARS-affected areas and no known contact with SARS patients.

On 26 Aug 03, he went to work at the NUS lab and was well but he developed fever around midnight. On 27 Aug 03, he consulted a general practitioner and was given a course of antibiotics. The fever persisted and he sought treatment at the SGH A&E on 29 Aug 03. His chest X-ray was normal. He was diagnosed to have a viral fever and discharged from the A&E. As he did not feel better, he consulted a Chinese physician on 1 Sep 03. Two days later, on 3 Sep 03, he sought treatment again at the SGH A&E and was admitted.

From the time he became unwell on midnight of 26 Aug 03 till his admission to SGH on 3 Sep 03, he remained at home apart from his two visits to SGH A&E, the GP and Chinese physician.

When he was admitted to the SGH, he complained of fever, muscle aches and joint pains, but did not have any significant respiratory symptoms. He developed a dry cough after admission. Three serial chest X-rays at SGH were all normal. However, on 8 Sep 03, when his PCR and serology test results were returned positive, the patient was transferred to the CDC for further management. He remains well.

Diagnosis

A repeat of his PCR tests was done in NUH lab today and was confirmed positive. In view of his positive PCR and serology results, MOH is treating him as a probable SARS case.


Source of infection

Investigations are underway to identify the patient's source of infection.


Precautionary measures at the laboratories

Pending investigation, the two laboratories have suspended all their research activities. Meanwhile, the staff members of the laboratories have also been asked to stay at home until the all-clear is given. No staff member has fever or feels unwell.

Precautionary measures at the SGH

Although the patient was isolated throughout his stay in the SGH and the staff who had contact with him were in protective gear, the SGH is not taking any chances and has ramped up its precautionary measures to Orange Alert Level. These include restrictions to visitation of the affected wards and more intensive temperature surveillance of staff.

Home Quarantine Order

Group Number
Family members of case 8
TCM Sinseh 2
SGH A&E outpatients 8
Visitors 3
Discharged patients 4

Total 25

Conclusion
MOH has notified the WHO of the incident and the details of the case. WHO has informed us that the case does not fulfil the case definition for SARS as per the new WHO guideline in the post outbreak period.

MOH's assessment is that this case was a low public health risk as the patient was picked up and isolated early.

Ministry of Health Media Release 9 Sep 2003

 

- Lifting of SARS Measures from 18 Aug 2003

- Lifting of SARS measures

- SARS - A Nation's Tribute: PM Goh Chok Tong

- Ministry of Health Commemoration Ceremony on 22 Jul 2003

- All households to get free SARS toolkit

- WHO removes Singapore from list of areas with local SARS transmission

- SARS and the gynae

- SARS: The 3rd wave of changes & transformations in Asia - Lecture by Dr Eric Teo

- WHO may declare Singapore free of SARS today

- Limiting the transborder spread of SARS - Dr Balaji Sidasivan

Singapore Tourism Board advisory on SARS

- School reopens for secondary students

- Closure of Schools extended

- Closure of Schools

- SARS invades our lives

- New contagious killer virus SARS causing atypical pneumonia

21 Aug 2003

Continued vigilance against SARS cases
Singapore continues to maintain a high level of vigilance against SARS.

The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the reported cluster of cases of acute respiratory illness in Vancouver, Canada. Investigations are still underway in Canada to establish whether the cases are SARS-related.
As a precautionary measure, while awaiting the outcome of these investigations, the Ministry has advised hospitals, nursing homes and General Practitioners to be vigilant. Triage staff in healthcare institutions will ask patients for a history of travel in the preceding 10 days to previously SARS-affected areas. Patients with fever and suspicious symptoms and a positive travel history will continue to be referred to TTSH/CDC for assessment.

 

Earlier Updates....