Foundations of the severe acute respiratory syndrome preparedness and response plan for healthcare facilities

Arjun Srinivasan, Lawrence C. McDonald, Daniel Jernigan, Rita Helfand, Kathleen Ginsheimer, John Jernigan, Linda Chiarello, Raymond Chinn, Umesh Parashar, Larry Anderson, Denise Cardo, S. Solomon, M. Keifer, M. Pearson, J. Bentley, J. Steinberg, K. Woeltje, R. Koppaka, C. Van Beneden, R. Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To help facilities prepare for potential future cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), assisted by members of professional societies representing public health, healthcare workers, and healthcare administrators, developed guidance to help facilities both prepare for and respond to cases of SARS. INTERVENTIONS: The recommendations in the CDC document were based on some of the important lessons learned in healthcare settings around the world during the SARS outbreak of 2003, including that (1) a SARS outbreak requires a coordinated and dynamic response by multiple groups; (2) unrecognized cases of SARS-associated coronavirus are a significant source of transmission; (3) restricting access to the healthcare facility can minimize transmission; (4) airborne infection isolation is recommended, but facilities and equipment may not be available; and (5) staffing needs and support will pose a significant challenge. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare facilities were at the center of the SARS outbreak of 2003 and played a key role in controlling the epidemic. Recommendations in the CDC's SARS preparedness and response guidance for healthcare facilities will help facilities prepare for possible future outbreaks of SARS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1020-1025
Number of pages6
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


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