Environmental and Global Health Issues
Communicable Disease Outbreak
Western Governors University
Increased mobility of human populations allows disease to spread quickly around the world. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is one such communicable disease that came to worldwide attention in 2003 with >8000 cases and approximately 800 deaths. How such a disease can move so rapidly and be transmitted to so many people becomes apparent and necessitates that reporting criteria be required. Respiratory issues affect how we live and breath. Modifications may become necessary to care from health care providers due to concerns for clients.
Communicable disease outbreak:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome, abbreviated as SARS is known as an atypical pneumonia. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs generally caused by an infection. SARS is considered atypical because it is not caused by the usual viruses or bacteria. It is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention February 20, 2013). SARS first came to worldwide attention in February 2003 in Southeast Asia (MediResource, Inc. 1996-2013). World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of >8,000 SARS cases and approximately 800 deaths during the winter of 2002 through the spring of 2003. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention July 7, 2012). The first recognized case was in a middle-aged business man who traveled extensively in South-East Asia before being admitted to a hospital in Hanoi on February 26, 2003. He was admitted with a high fever, dry cough, muscle aches and sore throat. He subsequently developed symptoms of adult respiratory distress syndrome which required ventilatory support, and severe thrombocytopenia. (Pan American Health Organization, 2008-2009) The incubation period of SARS is usually 2-7 days but estimates state may be as long as 10 days. At illness onset a fever, which is often high, is accompanied by chills/rigors and sometimes headache, body aches and fatigue. A lower respiratory period usually begins within 3-7 days with the onset of a non-productive, dry cough or difficulty breathing. This may be accompanied by or lead to hypoxemia. The respiratory illness can be severe enough or lead to intubation or mechanical ventilation. (Pan American Health Organization, 2008-2009). The largest period of communicability from respiratory tract excretion is found to be within 6-14 days of disease onset, although viral excretion starts at 0-2 days and declines between days 15-17. Viral shedding from stool is at it highest days 6-14. (K. Kutsar, 2004). The SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a new variant of virus possibly transmitted to humans from animals. It is believed to be spread by close contact with an infected person. The virus seems to be spread through exhaled droplets and body secretions. When an infected person coughs or sneezes you may come in contact with their respiratory secretions. These aerosolized droplets land on surfaces such as doorknobs and elevator buttons where you can then come into contact with them. It is also theorized that SARS may be spread when fecal matter containing the virus is ingested (contaminated food or water supply e.g., poor sewage treatment). The epidemiological data of the SARS outbreak indicated a significant delay in reporting to the necessary health officials, resulting in improper handling of this event in early onset. The first individual was in public and the transmission of this virus started to take place. Due to close proximity and large populations coupled with ease of travel the virus became intercontinental rapidly. Policies were developed to break the human chain of transmission and there have been no reported cases since 2004. Extensive data analysis has...
References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention February 20, 2013. SARS-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/sars/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention July 7, 2012
K, Kutsar, December 05, 2004. The Global Epidemiology of SARS. Retrieved from: http://www.epinorth.org/eway/default.aspx?pid=230&trg=Area_5268&MainArea_5260
Please join StudyMode to read the full document