VOL: 99, ISSUE: 18, PAGE NO: 26
Franky Lever, MSc, RMN, is an epidemiological scientist, UK SARS Team, Health Protection Agency, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London
- Its potential for rapid spread by international air travel;
- The risk of onward transmission to health workers;
- The failure of empirical treatments to improve prognosis significantly;
- The need for intensive therapy to assist breathing of one in 10 cases;
- The death of one in 20 cases of SARS globally to date;
- Uncertainties over transmission and best methods of control, diagnosis and treatment.
Testing for SARS
Patients identified as probable or suspect SARS cases should also be tested for human influenza viruses, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, enteroviruses, human metapneumavirus as well as bacteria such as chlamydia, mycoplasma and legionella and the results reported to the CDSC.
Infection control in the community
Hand hygiene of patients and their close contacts is important: thorough washing before and after contact with a patient is advised and the use of alcohol hand wipes considered. Laundry should be washed at the highest temperature for the fabric. Eating utensils should not be shared but can be used by others after routine cleaning in a dishwasher or with hot water and washing up liquid.