Tests rule out most of Ohio's possible SARS cases

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two-thirds of Ohio's suspected cases of SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, were not SARS after all.

The Ohio Department of Health said test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ruled out 10 of Ohio's 15 possible cases. Test results are pending on the other five.

Until Wednesday's update, all of Ohio's SARS cases had been categorized as suspected or probable.

A suspected case of SARS includes a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, one or more signs of respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) and recent travel to areas with documented outbreaks.

To be elevated to a probable case, there also must be X-ray evidence of pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome.

Only one of Ohio's 15 cases, a 39-year-old Shelby County man, was deemed probable. But that case was among those ruled out as SARS by the CDC.

The SARS virus migrated worldwide from China. The World Health Organization and the CDC brought the pneumonialike illness to the attention of the world in mid-March.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)