Definition of Severe acute respiratory syndrome
The clinical criteria for the diagnosis of SARS are:
The National Center for Infectious Diseases posted the following Travelers' Health Warning, that read (in part):
As of March 12, 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of outbreaks of a severe form of pneumonia in Hong Kong SAR, Vietnam, and Guangdong, a province in southern China.
In Vietnam, a man became ill after traveling from Shanghai, China, and Hong Kong SAR to Hanoi, where he was hospitalized for a severe, acute respiratory syndrome. Approximately 20 hospital staff became ill with similar symptoms, which included initial influenza-like illness with rapid onset of high fever, followed by muscle aches, headache, and sore throat. Some cases progressed to bilateral pneumonia; a subset of the pneumonia patients developed acute respiratory distress requiring mechanical ventilation. Some patients are now recovering, while others remain critically ill.
WHO (the World Health Organization) recommends the use of isolation and barrier nursing techniques with patients who have atypical pneumonia and any possible links to the outbreaks, and that suspect cases be reported to national health authorities. As an added measure, CDC recommends respiratory precautions with use of a personal respirator during any close contact with cases and suspect cases.
The cause of this form of SARS is still unknown. The disease is clearly highly contagious under certain situations, as in hospitals, and it can clearly be deadly.
Last Editorial Review: 4/27/2011 5:27:15 PM
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