Anchorage hospital experiences SARS false alarm

Posted: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage hospital responded to a suspected case of severe acute respiratory syndrome this week that turned out to be a false alarm.

Providence Alaska Medical Center reported four suspicious cases to the state health department, one of which the state suspected as a possible SARS case, said hospital spokeswoman Karina Jennings.

A laboratory test showed the patient likely had influenza.

The patient is a crew member from a cargo plane that arrived in Anchorage on Sunday, said Kerre Fisher with the state Division of Public Health. The patient had flown from Hong Kong, where SARS has been reported, and was admitted to Providence with SARS-like symptoms.

Infection-control officials put him into a hospital isolation room. But laboratory tests showed he didn't have SARS.

Nearly 150 suspected SARS cases have been reported in the nation, but none have been reported in Alaska.

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