SARS in the Panhandle


Florida health officials are monitoring two people in the Florida Panhandle suspected of having Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Health officials say a Santa Rosa County woman returned from Singapore two weeks ago. The woman then took care of a six-year-old family member who lives in Okaloosa County.

Both are now suspected to be suffering from the disease. They have not required hospitalization.

That brings the total in Florida to seven suspected cases. Nationally, the CDC has reported 148 suspected cases in 30 states.

SARS is a newly recognized viral disease that apparently originated in Eastern Asia.

Symptoms of SARS include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.