Press Release

Joint statement by the Department of Health and Children, National Disease Surveillance Centre and Eastern Regional Health Authority

In response to advice from the World Health Organisation, Ireland, in common with most countries, has been investigating illness in people who have travelled in areas affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The patient who was admitted to a Dublin hospital over the weekend is comfortable and is continuing to receive treatment.

Preliminary reports have been received that an additional patient with symptoms similar to SARS, who has also recently visited the affected areas, has been admitted to another Dublin hospital and is currently undergoing investigation.

Mr Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children, has established an expert group to monitor the situation and to advise him of any further measures which may need to be taken as the situation develops. The group had its first meeting this morning and will continue to meet, monitor and advise as necessary.

The symptoms of SARS are a temperature of over 38°C, flu-like symptoms and a cough. This is relevant only to people who have been in the affected areas. The advice to the general public remains as before: people travelling to affected areas in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore and Guandong Province in China should be aware of the symptoms and seek medical advice should they become unwell during their trip or within 10 days of leaving the area.