On April 3 2003, a man aged 52 years old, started to feel sick. His symptoms included fatigue, headache, chills, and sweating. A few days later, he had diarrhea and went to the emergency department of the nearest hospital. A fever of 100.7 degrees F was recorded, but no diagnostic testing was performed.
His symptoms got worse. He visited the hospital again with dehydration, cough, and severe shortness of breath. Soon after, he was admitted to the hospital again with a diagnosis of a typical pneumonia and possible SARS. The man was dying, and no medicine was able to help him. During November 1, 2002 to April 23, 2003, a total of 4288 SARS cases were reported to World health organization from 25 countries, including the United States. Today I would like to inform you about what SARS is, how it spreads, the symptoms, the treatments, and how to protect yourself.
SARS is a new disease. SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. SARS is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe. Scientists at the Center of disease Control and Prevention have detected a previously unrecognized corona virus in patients with SARS. The new corona virus is the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS.
The primary way that SARS appears to spread is by close person to person contact. Most cases of SARS have involved people who cared of or lived with someone with SARS or had direct contact with infectious material from a person who has SARS. Potential ways in which SARS can be spread include touching the skin of other people or objects that are contaminated and then toughing your eyes nose or mouth.
This can happen when someone who is sick with SARS coughs or sneezes germs onto themselves or other people, or nearby surfaces. It also is possible that SARS can be spread more broadly through the air or by other ways that are currently not known. In addition, most of the U.S cases of SARS have occurred among travelers returning to the United States from other parts of the world affected by SARS.
There have been very few cases as a result of spread to close contacts such as family members and health care workers. Currently, there is no evidence that SARS is spreading more widely in the United States
The symptoms of SARS are fever greater than 100.4 F. Other symptoms may include headache, an overall feeling of discomfort, and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms. After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry cough and have trouble breathing.
Now I am going to talk about the treatments of SARS. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention there is no specific treatment recommendations that can be made at this time. Treatment choices may be influence by severity of the illness.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for patients with suspected SARS health care settings and in households. The guideline says that if you think that you might have SARS, you should visit a health care provider as soon as possible. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you have surgical mask, wear it during close contact with other people.
The second part of the guideline says that if you have SARS and are being cared at home, you should: Follow the instructions given by your health care provider.
Limit your activities outside the house during this 10 day period. For example, do not go to work, school, or public areas. Wash your hands often and well, especially after you blown your nose. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you sneezed or cough. If possible, wear a surgical mask when around other people in your house.
If the infected person can not wear a mask, then the people around him should wear one. Don’t share silverware, towels, or bedding with anyone in your house until these items have been washed with soap and hot water. Surfaces (like counter, door knobs) that have been contaminated by body fluids (sweat) from the SARS patient should be clean. Wear disposable gloves during all cleaning activities. Throw these out when you are done. Follow these instructions for 10 days after your fever and respiratory symptoms have gone away.
I would like to end my speech with the story that I began with. The 52 year old man is dead.
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