Community Health in the Event of a Sars Outbreak Essay

2016 Words Mar 23rd, 2012 9 Pages
Community Health in the Event of a SARS Outbreak
The SARS Outbreak of 2003
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, originally reported in Asia in February 2003 and spread to over two dozen countries before being contained (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2005). Once infected, individuals with SARS initially develop a high fever and other flu-like symptoms including headache, body aches and “overall feeling of discomfort” before, in most cases, progressing to pneumonia (CDC, 2005).
The disease was first diagnosed in a middle-aged man who had flown from China to Hong Kong. A few days after the announcement of the disease, rumors and panic began to spread, causing
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Routes of Transmission
In the laboratory setting, the virus was found in respiratory droplets, feces, saliva, tears and urine (WHO/DCDSR, 2003). SARS is primarily spread through close, personal contact, such as kissing, hugging, eating or drinking, as well as being within 3 feet of a person who coughs or sneezes while infected and shedding the virus. These activities allow the respiratory droplets shed during these activities to come in contact with mucous membranes found in the eyes, nose and mouth (Kutsar, 2004). Other modes of transmission include aerosolizing procedures in hospital settings and contamination of surfaces in “healthcare facilities, households and other closed environments” (Kutsar, 2004, para. 12). There has been no confirmation of fecal-oral transmission or of transmission via water or food; however, over one-third of the earliest cases in China were among food handlers (Kutsar, 2004). Finally, there is a possibility of animal vector transmission, as discussed in regards to the Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens (WHO/DCDSR, 2003).

Effect of Outbreak on Community
The SARS outbreak caused major effects on the communities affected. Based on the 2003 outbreak, one can assume similar issues would develop should the disease recur. The biggest impact to communities affected would be the strain on the healthcare system. Since SARS is a largely respiratory disease, it can cause very serious problems in the patients infected, requiring

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