To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department issues to people who suspect that they have been infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Advice is issued to the public via travel and web based information. It has described the symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and advises people to seek medical attention should they show signs of or a combination of these symptoms while in a SARS affected area or within 10 days of being in an affected area.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the epidemiology of the virus which produces severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) is one of 11 laboratories in nine countries working together to investigate the cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Two different viruses have been identified in a number of laboratories within the network in cases of SARS: corona viruses and metapneumoviruses. The discovery of these viruses in association with SARS enables work to be developed on tests which detect the presence of these viruses in patients. CPHL are involved in developing and preparing diagnostic tests for both viruses.