27 March 2003
A recent cluster of a new respiratory illness known as "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome" has made a significant impact on the local community and other places worldwide. In order to effectively control the spread of this disease in Hong Kong, the Director of Health has issued an Order today (27 March 2003) to amend the First Schedule of the Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance by adding "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome" (嚴重急性呼吸系統綜合症) to the list of infectious diseases specified in that Schedule. Another Order to add this disease to the notification form i.e. Form 2 of the Schedule to the Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Diseases Regulations (Cap 141 sub. leg. B) has also been issued as a consequence of the inclusion of this disease in the list of statutory notifiable diseases. The two Orders have been gazetted today with immediate effect.
As Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a new disease entity, the clinical presentation and diagnosis of which may be changed when more information is being revealed in due course. At the moment, the case definition proposed by the World Health Organisation should be used as the criteria for a confirmed case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Case Definition of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome as at 27 March 2003
high fever (>38
one or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing,
close contact* with a person who has been diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
* close contact means having cared for, having lived with, or having
had direct contact with respiratory secretions and body fluids of a
person with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
We will keep you informed of the latest definition of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome based on the best available information.
According to regulation 4 of the Prevention of the Spread of Infectious Diseases Regulations, medical practitioners are required to report to the Director of Health a suspected case of the disease.
Attached please find a revised notification form for reporting infectious disease. The form can also be downloaded from Department of Health's website ( www.info.gov.hk/dh ). Your co-operation to combat the disease is very much appreciated. Thanks.