sealPurdue News
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May 1, 2003

Purdue announces SARS travel warnings

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is taking precautions to keep the campus community safe during the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS.

"The SARS outbreak continues to be of concern here and around the world, particularly in mainland China," said Provost Sally Frost Mason. "While the Purdue administration has not prohibited official travel to affected areas, we strongly advise university faculty, staff and students to avoid trips to mainland China and other locations noted by federal and world health organizations as high-risk areas."

The Office of the Provost distributed a letter today (Thursday, 5/1) to all faculty, staff and students that contains information about Purdue’s travel warnings.

Mason is advising any member of the university community who is considering travel to any of these areas to read information posted on the Centers for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/, and World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/, Web sites about the risks associated with contracting SARS. Information about the global locations that are currently experiencing significant number of SARS cases also is provided by these sites.

In addition, the Purdue administration is asking faculty, staff and students to consider the following if traveling to areas with a high risk of contracting SARS:

- Those developing SARS-related symptoms while abroad may be placed in quarantine. The host country would determine the location and the patient would be denied access to family members or personal physicians.

- Those developing SARS-related symptoms while abroad also may be denied any opportunity for medical evaluation in the United States.

- Those developing SARS-related symptoms when attempting to re-enter United States, and most other countries, will likely be placed in quarantine before being allowed to return home.

- Travel from these high-risk locations could be suspended at any time by either government or airline actions.

"If, despite these warnings, faculty, staff or students find it essential to travel to these locations, please know that upon their return, we will require that they meet with our on-campus health officials at the Purdue University Health Center for an assessment of their health status," Mason said.

The health center should be called immediately for an appointment, upon anyone’s return from a country identified as a risk. The number is (765) 494-6504. A letter from the Office of the Provost and informational updates can be found at the health center’s Web site, http://www.purdue.edu/PUSH/.

"We are watching this situation carefully and hope that all of our precautions are temporary ones," Mason said. "We will monitor actions by the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the State Department, so that when travel warnings are lifted, we too can remove our restrictions."

Faculty and staff members should continue following Purdue procedures for submitting required travel authorization forms prior to travel, when using state or sponsored program money to support the travel. All students planning international travel for any Purdue-related purpose, at any time, should seek prior approval from the Office of the Programs for Study Abroad. Policies, procedures and up-to-date information about educational travel activities by students are listed on the study abroad Web site at http://www.studyabroad.purdue.edu/.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Sally Frost Mason, (765) 494-9709, sfmason@purdue.edu

Related Web sites:

Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/

World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en/

U.S. Department of State: http://travel.state.gov/sars_announce.html

Purdue University Student Health Center: http://www.purdue.edu/PUSH/

Purdue Office of Study Abroad: http://www.studyabroad.purdue.edu/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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