Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is an infectious and sometimes deadly disease. SARS appeared for the first time in China in November 2002 and within a few months spread to various parts of the world. However, it has been culled to bring SARS cases in 2004 to zero worldwide.
What is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome?
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a disease caused by a virus that damages the alveoli in the lungs, causing swelling and fibrosis in the lung tissue, obstructing the functioning of the alveoli, preventing oxygen from reaching the blood, : This means that you can’t breathe well to get adequate oxygen to the cells of the body, and may lead to deficiencies in the functions of different organs in the body.
What are the causes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome?
The SARS virus belongs to the family or group of coronavirus viruses that cause the common cold. It is believed to have started as a disease in animals in China and then evolved into humans. Since then, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has spread throughout the world.
How does SARS spread?
The virus is found in the sputum, saliva, or nasal discharge, so the most common way to spread it is through the spray that spreads through the air when a person coughs, sneezes or is talking. Most experts believe that SARS spreads mainly through face-to-face contact But this virus may also spread through the use of contaminated objects such as door handles, telephones and elevator buttons or when shaking hands with the person who does not wash his hands.
Who are the people at risk of infection?
- People who have close contact with a sick person have symptoms within 10 days of being in a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome -affected area.
- When sharing housing with the casualty, or visiting the casualty, caregivers for the injure, who have direct contact with the injure are more likely to become infect.
- When traveling to areas where disease has spread like China.
What are the symptoms of SARS?
- Signs and symptoms usually appear within 4-10 days after exposure to SARS:
- High temperature and chills are the fastest and most common signs of fever (body temperature may reach 38 degrees Celsius or more).
- The patient may also suffer from headaches and pain in the body and weakness of the general, and after the emergence of the symptoms of the initial two days to 7 days begins the patient with a sense of shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and dry cough.
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting are other symptoms that may appear on the patient.
When should I need to go to a doctor?
If you think you have SARS, you should see your doctor immediately. SARS is a serious illness with deadly consequences.
Some supportive measures to improve patient health:
Medications: The patient may give some medications to relieve symptoms such as antihypertensives and medicines to relieve cough and pain may improve the patient’s health, and may need some drugs that reduce the swelling of the lungs, which helps the patient to breathe easier.
Oxygen: If the level of oxygen in the blood is too low, the doctor or specialist will provide the patient with oxygen through a mask placed on the nose and mouth, or through small tubes.
It is worth mentioning that previous procedures increase the patient’s chances of getting a full recovery from the disease.
How can I prevent injury during the care of someone with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
- Wash your hands continuously, especially before and after entering the patient’s room.
- Do not share your bed, blankets, or food utensils.
- Using a mask for an infect person when others are in the room limits the spread of the disease. But if he can’t use the mask, he should cover his mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- People who in close contact with the patient screened for SARS infection.
- Isolate the clothes of the casualty and wash them alone using hot water and soap.
- Dispose of tissue paper after use.
- Use alcohol to clean soiled surfaces with a mucus or spray of the patient and surfaces near the patient’s use. And wear gloves and gums to protect yourself.
- Follow these procedures during the period of illness and for 10 days after the disappearance of symptoms of the disease in the patient.