Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Spring 2003 CSANews Issue 46  |  Posted date : Apr 15, 2007.Back to list

At press time there were 344 "probable and suspected" cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Canada. Of this number, there have been 21 deaths, however 232 people have been discharged or are recovering at home.

Symptoms include a fever of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing, and you must have had close contact with a probable or suspected case of SARS. Health officials ask that if you have any of these symptoms you put yourself into voluntary quarantine for 10 days to avoid spreading the disease.

Since the source of the disease (other than the fact that it may be a strain of coronavirus) is not known, doctors are currently treating patients according to their symptoms. Those patients with immune deficiency diseases are at greater risk.

At this point, masks have been deemed unnecessary for the general public unless you have had direct contact with a SARS patient. If you must wear a mask, make sure that it is class N95 ­ masks with less filtering capacity do not protect you from the disease.

Health Canada and the WHO recommend washing your hands often...which is always a good idea to avoid sickness.