Norfolk, Virginia - April 10, 2003 - Earlier this week an individual with a suspected case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was treated in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital's Emergency Department (ED). The patient had just returned from travel to Asia. The Emergency Department was contacted prior to the patient's arrival so our staff was prepared. Staff members working directly with the patient took appropriate safeguards during assessment and treatment as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a precaution, the patient was immediately placed in isolation, and the Public Health Department was informed. The patient was treated and released from the Emergency Department, and the Health Department is continuing to monitor the patient's status.
In addition, a patient arrived at Sentara's Gloucester Convenient Care Center with an unknown respiratory illness. This case, unrelated to the Norfolk case, has been reported to the Health Department, which is investigating it as a suspected case of SARS. Appropriate measures were taken at the facility in conjunction with the Health Department to minimize risk to other urgent care patients.
Infectious disease experts and Emergency Department personnel at all of Sentara's facilities are knowledgeable and well trained in the identification and treatment of infectious disease cases. We continue to be vigilant in light of the recent suspected SARS cases. Due to patient confidentiality, any additional questions should be directed to the Public Health Department.
Sentara Healthcare Public Relations
Media Relations Pager (757) 671-4971