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Volume 10, Number 7—July 2004


Collecting Data To Assess SARS Interventions

R. Douglas Scott*Comments to Author , Edward W. Gregg*, and Martin I. Meltzer*
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Table A2

Explanation of data in Figure 2

Column Priority group Variable Type Suggested coding Comments/details
Participant information
Patient ID
1, 2, 3, …n

Case status/criteria
Ub 1 Clinical case criteria Categories 1 = asymptomatic/mild respiratory illness; 2 = moderate illness; 3 = severe respiratory illness; 4 = none See definitions in footnotea
Vc 1 Epidemiologic criteria Categories 1 = travel within 10 days to infected area; 2 = close contact; 3 = both; 4=none Record all that apply
See definitions in footnotea
Define close contact (e.g., within 1 min for X amount of time)
Wd 1 Laboratory confirmed Categories 1 = yes; 2 = no; 3 = undetermined See definitions in footnotea
Case classification
1 = probable; 2 = suspected; 3 = noncase
Classify using data from rows S, T, U
Outcome information
Y 2 Hospitalization Categories 1 = hospitalization; 2 = no hospitalization
Z 2 Hospitalization date Date DD/MM/YY
AA 3 Treatment status Categories 1 = antiviral agent; 2 = antimicrobial agent; 3 = other (describe) Suggestions/ recommendations? Particular interest is in nonhospitalized case-patients
AB 2 Isolation start date Date DD/MM/YY (or 0 = not in isolation) Date on which patient was put into isolation for infection control purposes so as to prevent transmission
AC 2 No. of days isolated Continuous 0,1,2,3,…..n
AD 3 No. of days on ventilation Continuous 0,1,2,3,…..n
AE 3 No. of days in intensive care Continuous 0,1,2,3,…..n
AF 3 Discharge date Date Date; 0 if still in hospital
AG 2 Death Categories 1 = dead; 2 = alive
AH 2 Date of death Date DD/MM/YY

aAll categorical definitions for coexisting conditions and symptoms are illustrative and do not imply any order or ranking.
bClinical criteria - illustrative classification criteria: 1) Asymptomatic or mild respiratory illness; 2) Moderate respiratory illness: temperature of >100.4°F (>38°C), and >1 clinical findings of respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or hypoxia); 3) Severe respiratory illness: temperature of >100.4°F (>38°C), and >1 clinical findings of respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or hypoxia), and radiographic evidence of pneumonia, or respiratory distress syndrome, or autopsy findings consistent with pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome without an identifiable cause.
cEpidemiologic criteria-illustrative classification criteria: travel (including transit in an airport) within 10 days of onset of symptoms to an area with current or recently documented or suspected community transmission of SARS; or close contact (e.g., having cared for or lived with a person known to have SARS or having a high likelihood of direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a patient known to have SARS, including close conversation [<3 feet]) within 10 days of onset of symptoms with a person known or suspected to have SARS infection.
dLaboratory criteria-illustrative classification criteria: 1) Yes = confirmed: Detection of antibody to SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in a serum sample; or detection of SARS-CoV RNA by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmed by a second PCR assay, by using a second aliquot of the specimen and a different set of PCR primers, or isolation of SARS-CoV; 2) No = negative: absence of antibody to SARS-CoV in convalescent-phase serum obtained >28 days after symptom onset; 3) Undetermined = laboratory testing either not performed or incomplete.
eCase classification-illustrative classification: 1) Probable case: meets the clinical criteria for severe respiratory illness of unknown cause and epidemiologic criteria for exposure; laboratory criteria confirmed or undetermined; 2) Suspected case: meets the clinical criteria for moderate respiratory illness of unknown cause, and epidemiologic criteria for exposure; laboratory criteria confirmed or undetermined. The illustrative criteria and classifications used here are based on CDC Updated interim U.S. case definition for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (

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