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Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Asia travel advisory issued, March 15

response to reports of increasing numbers of cases of an atypical pneumonia that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued alerts that may impact travelers from the campus community.

Princeton University Chief Medical Officer Daniel Silverman urges all students, faculty and staff planning or considering travel to Asia in the near future to visit the CDC and WHO Web sites for up-to-date information on this situation. University Health Services recommends that all members of the University community postpone or delay international travel, if possible, until further information is available.

Members of the University community with questions concerning the advisability of international travel in the case of an emergency or who are experiencing upper respiratory symptoms with a recent history of travel to the affected areas should contact University Health Services at (609) 258-3141 for additional information. For non-emergency questions or travel planning, please schedule a consultation with Travel Medicine during regular business hours.

The CDC has been working with the WHO since late February to investigate and confirm outbreaks of this severe form of pneumonia in Vietnam, Hong Kong and parts of China. No cases have been identified to date in the United States although cases have been identified in Canada.

"The emergence of two clusters of this illness on the North American continent indicates the potential for travelers who have been in the affected areas ... to have been exposed to this serious syndrome," said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, CDC director. "The World Health Organization has been leading a global effort, in which CDC is participating, to understand the cause of this illness and how to prevent its spread. We do know that it may progress rapidly and can be fatal. Therefore, we are instituting measures aimed at identifying potential cases among travelers returning to the United States and protecting the people with whom they may come into contact."

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601

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