Hat1 Task 3 Essay

2623 Words 11 Pages
Environmental and Global Health Issues
Western Governors University
Community Health Practice
HAT1 Task 3

May 15, 2013

Environmental and Global Health Issues
Because of the uncertainties and evolving nature of infectious diseases, outbreaks can cause substantial fear in communities and in the general public. Such is the case with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. It was the first serious infectious disease of the twenty first century and questions about its origin and treatment greatly outnumbered the answers.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SARS is a respiratory infection caused by the coronavirus that was thought to have originated in Guangdong China but was not reported until
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There were approximately 300 cases of this unknown disease resulting in 5 deaths before the local health officials reported it. It is believed that an infected physician from Guangdong carried the virus out of Guangdong when he stayed in a hotel in Hong Kong. Guests from this hotel seeded additional outbreaks when hospitalized in nearby areas or traveled around the world to their homes or other destinations. After the outbreak was reported and the virus identified, isolation measures, contact and airborne precautions, and travel restrictions were imposed. This resulted in the secondary transmissions subsiding. The total number of people affected between November 2002 and July 2003 was 8098 and the majority of them were in China and Hong Kong. 774 people died and as expected, were predominantly from these two countries. According to WHO, 9.6% of the people infected with SARS died between November 2002 and July 2003 ("WHO," 2003).
Route of Transmission
It is believed that the main route of transmission of SARS is spread by droplets and/or indirect or direct contact. This conclusion is based on the fact that most of the infections occurred in close contact situations such as homes and hospitals where infected individuals were identified. There is the possibility of oral-fecal transmission based on identification of the virus in the stool but there are no

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