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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
Diseases & Conditions A-Z

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ASTHMA & RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Respiratory System

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Viral Illnesses

Prevention

Even as researchers refine diagnostic tests for SARS and search for effective treatments, the main emphasis remains on preventing new cases from developing. To accomplish this, the WHO and the CDC have established a number of guidelines aimed at stopping transmission of the disease.

Protecting yourself
If you're caring for someone at home with SARS, these measures can help you stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Instead of touching your face with your hands, use a disposable tissue to rub your eyes or nose.

  • Wear disposable gloves if you have contact with the body fluids or feces of someone with SARS. Throw the gloves away immediately after use and wash your hands thoroughly.

  • Wear a surgical mask when you're in the same room as a person with SARS. Wearing glasses also may offer some protection.

  • Use soap and hot water to wash the silverware, towels, bedding and clothing of someone with SARS, and don't use these items yourself until they're clean.

  •  Use a household disinfectant to clean any surfaces that may have been contaminated with sweat, saliva or mucus, or even vomit, stool or urine. Wear disposable gloves while you clean and throw the gloves away when you're done.

  •  Follow all precautions for at least 10 days after the person's symptoms have disappeared.

  • Keep children home from school if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms within 10 days of being exposed to someone with SARS. They can return if symptoms ease after three days. Children who have been exposed but don't have symptoms can attend school, but watch their health closely.

  • Call your doctor immediately if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms. Be sure to let him or her know that you've had close contact with someone with SARS.

Protecting others
If you've been diagnosed with SARS, the following measures can help prevent you from infecting others:

  • Wash your hands carefully and frequently with soap and hot water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and if possible, wear a surgical mask when you're in close contact with other people.

  • Don't share your silverware, towels or bedding with anyone in your home until these items have been thoroughly washed with soap and hot water.

  • Avoid going to school, work or other public places for 10 days after your symptoms disappear.

Traveling safely
Although there are no longer any SARS-related travel restrictions, it's always wise to take certain precautions when you travel. The following measures can help ensure you have a safe trip:

Before you leave

  • Buy or assemble a basic first-aid kit. Be sure to include an alcohol-based hand cleanser.

  • Learn as much as you can about the SARS status of the countries you'll visit.

  • Make sure you're current on all of your immunizations. It's best to have any needed shots four to six weeks before your departure.

  • Check your travel insurance. You may want to purchase coverage for medical evacuation.

  • Know where medical care will be available in the areas you visit. Take with you a list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of recommended English-speaking doctors and hospitals at your destinations.

In transit
Take care on airplanes. Some experts believe that infections spread on airplanes through the air valves located directly above your seat. It's best to turn these valves off and to carry disposable towelettes so you can clean your hands frequently during a flight.

Travel in China and Southeast Asia

  • To help protect yourself from infection, wash your hands thoroughly and often. Scrub well with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • In China, avoid visiting live food markets and avoid wildlife, especially civet cats, sold in these markets. Some civets have been found to carry viruses similar to the SARS virus.

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:15 AM