Saturday, May 10, 2003

'Probable' case of SARS being treated in N.Ky.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

A Northern Kentuckian who just returned from a country on the SARS watch list has been reported as a "probable" Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome case, state health officials announced Friday.

The patient, whose personal information, including gender, hometown, name and age, are not being released, is "sick enough to meet the probable case definition, which is sicker than the suspected case definition," said Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health Services.

The patient reported to a local hospital with symptoms, Bond said, and an X-ray confirmed pneumonia or respiratory distress.

The X-ray confirmation is the difference between a suspected case and a probable case, she said.

The Northern Kentucky patient is one of 63 probable SARS cases in the United States.

Lab work testing for the coronavirus associated with a confirmed SARS case is not back yet, Bond said.

The patient, whose travel destination is not being released, is in voluntary isolation and is doing well, Bond said.

This is Northern Kentucky's second possible SARS case. The first was a "suspected" case reported on May 1.

Bond said that person is doing fine. That person did not have a chest X-ray that indicated pneumonia or respiratory distress.

None of the total of five SARS case reports in Kentucky (two probable and three suspected) are related to each other, Bond said.

The other "probable" Kentucky SARS case was reported in a person from Western Kentucky who has recovered, she said.

Ohio has reported 12 suspected cases and one probable case to the CDC. None of those are in Greater Cincinnati. Indiana has reported one suspected case of SARS and no probable cases.

More than 7,000 cases have been reported worldwide, with 265 suspected cases and 63 probable cases in the United States.

"We still haven't had any deaths in this country from this illness yet and we had 36,000 people in the U.S. who died of the flu last year, " Bond said.

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