Two in Md. isolated as suspected SARS cases

Full recoveries expected after week's quarantine

April 26, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 45-year-old Millersville woman and a 40-year-old Baltimore doctor remained isolated in their homes yesterday, the only patients classified as suspected SARS cases in Maryland, according to state health officials.

Both are expected to recover fully and to be released from quarantine in about a week.

The Baltimore doctor became ill with a fever and a cough during a trip to Toronto, a SARS hot spot. He was released from Johns Hopkins Hospital Wednesday night and will remain quarantined in his apartment for the next seven days, said Peter L. Beilenson, the city health commissioner.

The woman, who developed a cough, fever and shortness of breath after returning from China - where scientists think the SARS outbreak began - is also recovering, Anne Arundel County health officials said.

Her husband and year-old daughter, who were quarantined for 72 hours as a precaution, were allowed to leave their home and resume usual activities yesterday, said Elin Jones, an Anne Arundel County Health Department spokeswoman.

Under the federal government's classification, "suspect" SARS cases involve fever, respiratory illness and recent travel to an area with high infection rates. "Probable" cases, which are more serious, involve serious respiratory distress or pneumonia confirmed by chest X-ray.

State health officials said yesterday that no cases in Maryland are classified as probable.

Since the outbreak of sudden acute respiratory syndrome began in China last month, state health officials have investigated 22 cases involving people with SARS symptoms.

One of them, a 26-year old woman from Hong Kong, was voluntarily admitted to Maryland General Hospital this week because of respiratory problems. Beilenson said yesterday that she never showed all of the symptoms of SARS, and she was released Wednesday night.

The woman and nine relatives, who were isolated briefly in a Baltimore apartment, returned to their homes in New York and Hong Kong yesterday, he said.

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