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    Councilmembers Kell & Richardson Seek Report On SARS From LB Health Director @ April 8 Council Meeting

    (April 4, 2003) -- Councilmembers Jackie Kell and Laura Richardson have agendized an item for the April 8 Council meeting, seeking a report on SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) from LB City Hall's Director of Health & Human Services, Ronald Arias.

    SARS is Severe Atypical Respiratory Syndrome, a 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.

    Councilmembers Kell and Richardson specifically asked that the city staff report "include the City's plan and any contingencies to combat a SARS case should it appear in Long Beach."

    The agendizing memo by Councilmembers Kell and Richardson states in part:

    The City of Long Beach has a significant Asian-American population, over 13.7% or 64,000 people. It would be beneficial for the residents of Long Beach to know more about SARS, the City's ability to respond to SARS, any contingency plans currently being formulated, and recommendations for early detection.

    We therefore request Ronald Arias, Director of Health and Human Services to present a report at the April 8, 2003 City Council Meeting, detailing the causes, known symptoms, and the effects of SARS. This report should include the City's plan and any contingencies to combat a SARS case should it appear in Long Beach.

    As separately reported by, on April 4 President Bush signed an Executive Order adding SARS to the list of communicable diseases for which a person may be quarantined.

    As of April 3, the CDC reported 30 suspected SARS cases in CA, the largest of any state (NY is second with 17). As of April 2, CA had 24 SARS cases; on March 21, it was six cases.

    Responding to an inquiry on April 4 from, L.A. County's Dept. of Health Services reports 7 suspected SARS cases in L.A. change in L.A. County's number of suspected SARS cases on March 31. On March 17, L.A. County reported one suspected SARS case.

    On April 3, as previously reported by, the Centers for Disease Control posted a web page with advice -- some very blunt -- for travelers concerning SARS. Among other things, the CDC page states, "Donít go to mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Hanoi, unless you really have to." CDC's advice to travelers page is heavily hyperlinked, and we post a link to it at: CDC Advice to Travelers.

    The CDC website ( devotes a special page and detailed information on SARS at CDC detailed information on SARS.

    Readers should check the CDC SARS page for updates on this rapidly developing story.

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