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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 11 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the advice by the Chief Medical Officer on whether SARS should be made a notifiable disease. [110962]

Under Paragraph 4 for the Code of Practice on Open Government, internal documents are not routinely published.Based on information from the World Health Organisation, the Chief Medical Officer recommended that making severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) a notifiable disease from the outset, would slow down the reporting of probable cases at a critical time. Moreover, there was nothing to suggest that people with possible SARS or their contacts would set out to reject medical help and advice and thus require compulsory detention. This is however, an evolving situation and this policy is kept under constant review.