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For Release:
December 10, 2003

Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner

Commissioner Lacy to Discuss New Jersey’s SARS Preparedness and Response Plan


            New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. will discuss the state’s comprehensive preparedness and response plan for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) at a 1 p.m. press conference Thursday, December 11, at the Department of Health and Senior Services Building.

            Dr. Lacy will be joined by Dr. Eddy Bresnitz, state epidemiologist and Senior Assistant Commissioner, to discuss the components of the plan.

SARS is a recently recognized, contagious, febrile lower respiratory tract illness that begins as an influenza-like illness, with such symptoms as rapid onset of high fever, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath. 

The world’s first SARS outbreak began in China in November 2002 and spread to more than two dozen countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. More than 8,000 people became ill and about 10 percent of those died. In the United States, 159 suspect and 33 probable cases were reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Of these, 8 cases were confirmed and there were no deaths. New Jersey reported one confirmed and one suspect case earlier this year, with no deaths.


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