News at Princeton

Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Web Stories

University lifts travel alert for Beijing, July 14

Following actions taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University has lifted its travel alert for Beijing, where the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) appears to have been contained.

The University continues to list Taiwan as an alert area, meaning community members who must travel there should be alert to a possible increased risk of SARS and observe precautions to safeguard their health.

Following CDC recommendations, Princeton on July 10 removed its travel alerts for Toronto, Hong Kong and the remaining areas of mainland China. Princeton had previously lifted its moratorium on University-sponsored travel to areas most affected by SARS.

Given the possibility that SARS could recur, as it did recently in Toronto, or reappear this coming fall or winter, as coronaviruses are known to do, the University will continue to monitor the situation closely.

University community members are encouraged to regularly read the Princeton home page announcements for updates. Following the lowered level of national security alerts and health advisories, the Emergency Preparedness heading has been removed from the home page. However, the Emergency Preparedness alerts and resources will continue to be available through links on the Administration and Campus Life pages.

Travelers to Taiwan are advised to avoid visiting hospitals and health care facilities caring for SARS patients, to follow careful hand hygiene and to monitor their health while in Taiwan and for at least 10 days after leaving there. Any community members who are traveling to or from Taiwan should contact Dr. Peter Johnsen , the University Health Services travel medicine specialist, at johnsenp@princeton.edu or (609) 258-3141.

President Shirley M. Tilghman in April had approved the University's travel moratorium to areas most affected by SARS, based on advice from the CDC and the World Health Organization and in consultation with University Chief Medical Officer Daniel Silverman.

The symptoms and signs of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

The illness usually begins with a fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.0 degrees Celsius). The fever is sometimes associated with chills or other symptoms, including headache, general feeling of discomfort and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms at the outset. After two to seven days, SARS patients may develop a dry, nonproductive cough.

Any members of the Princeton community who have traveled to the identified geographical regions recently and are experiencing symptoms similar to those above should seek immediate medical evaluation.

Advice to travelers

The CDC has been working with the WHO since late February to investigate and confirm outbreaks of this severe form of pneumonia in various countries. The travel advice is intended to limit further international spread of SARS. The SARS situation, which is rapidly evolving, is under constant assessment by WHO in collaboration with three global networks of experts. The new advice is issued as part of a series of measures that will change as more information about SARS becomes available.

The WHO maintains a list of affected areas on its Web site. The CDC maintains a daily list of suspected cases in the United States.

For more information, the CDC maintains a "What's New" page with the most recent travel advice and scientific news about SARS. It also maintains a page of frequently asked questions about SARS.

Back To Top