(April 8, 2003) -- In response to an item agendized by Councilmembers Jackie Kell and Laura Richardson, LB's Dept. of Health & Human Services, via LB City Health Officer Dr. Darrel Sexton, presented a comprehensive, detailed report to the City Council on SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the serious flu/pneumonia that has taken lives in Hong Kong, Vietnam and China...and has now spread to parts of Canada and the U.S.
Dr. Sexton discussed SARS and its spread...and said that as of April 8, LB did not have any suspected SARS cases.
He added, "We have not had any communications from either Orange County or from L.A. County indicating that any of their cases have either originated or been in Long Beach."
Dr. Sexton noted (as previously reported by LBReport.com), that as of April 7, CA had 38 cases, L.A. County reported 7, and Orange County reported 2.
Dr. Sexton said, "Long Beach Health Dept. is in close communications with county, state and federal agencies, so with this information we can assure you that we're not only staying on top of this but we are also required by law to do reporting of any cases that would appear in Long Beach."
Councilwoman Richardson noted that SARS is "not just restricted to a person's ethnic background. A lot of people are traveling for one reason or another, business related or whatever, to various countries, or have familymembers or different people visiting, so it is a very important pertinent issue for all us."
Dr. Sexton indicated that LB's Health Dept. has "been in communication with certain specific groups in order to let them know of us being a resource and also to inform them of the presence of SARS in certain places, where we know that they may travel frequently."
Mayor O'Neill added, "I think that's a good point, because they would be traveling to family and back and forth, so having them have the information is very important."
Dr. Sexton indicated that SARS information is available on City Hall's web site, as well as on the World Health Organization site and the CDC website (www.cdc.gov).
The CDC SARS web page is CDC detailed information on SARS.