SARS/atypical pneumonia
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Dr. C. H. Laws

WHAT IS SARS?

·       SARS means Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

·       Viral infection causes atypical pneumonia – a new mutation of corona virus is strongly suspected as the pathogen.

·       Affects all age groups, highest mortality rate among seniors and people with pre-existing chronic diseases.  

 WHAT IS TYPICAL PNEUMONIA?  WHAT IS ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA?

·       Pneumonia – inflammation or infection of the lung. 

·       Typical pneumonia – including lobar pneumonia (involve whole lobe) and bronchopneumonia.  Pathogen of typical pneumonia is bacteria.  Pneumococcus is the most common pathogen.  In lobar pneumonia, there are 4 stages.  The 1st stage is congestion stage.  The 4th stage is resolving stage.  The 2nd and 3rd stages are red and grey hepatization stages.  In the red and grey hepatization stages, the chest X-ray shows homogenous consolidation (dense shadow) area of one or more lobes with well-defined demarcation.

·       Atypical pneumonia – the pathogen is virus.  Chest X-ray shows fuzzy shadows or mottlings with ill-defined demarcation.  If you repeat chest X-rays in a few days, you will find the shadows keep on changing of its size, shape and position.

CORONA VIRUS FAMILY:

·       CORONA VIRUS refers to the protein molecules surrounding the virus making it looks like a crown.  In Latin, corona means crown.   

·       Cause mild to moderate respiratory illnesses such as common cold.  

·       Able to survive in dry air for few hours.

·       Can be killed by UV light, so will not survive under sunlight.  UV light is strongly suggested for clinics and hospitals, etc.

·       Mutate easily and each mutation triggers off an epidemic of respiratory disease. 

·       A new mutation causes the recent epidemic of SARS.

METHODS OF TRANSMISSION:

·       Droplet (cough and sneeze, etc.) transmission is the most frequent method of transmission of corona virus from person to person.

·       Airborne transmission – since the virus can survive in dry air / surfaces for up to few hours and the virus also can float in the air like dust, so scientists believe SARS virus can be transmitted in this manner.

INFECTIVITY AND VIRULENCE:

·       It seems that SARS virus has rather low infectivity as compared with the other members of the corona virus family.  But,

·       The virulence of the SARS virus is rather high as compared with the other members of the corona virus family.  It causes severe and extensive damage of the organs of the patients. 

LATENT PERIOD:

·       The incubation period of SARS is about 3 – 10 days.  The infected people do not pass on the virus to others during the incubation period until the first symptoms appeared, scientists believe. 

SYMPTOMS:

·       High fever – 39 0 C or higher.

·       Cough – usually dry cough.

·       Nasal congestion – sneezing.

·       Headache.

·       Joint and muscular pain.

·       Alimentary track symptoms – diarrhoea.

·       Dyspnoea – shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.

·       Chest pain – constant, localized and especially when the patient taking a deep breathe.

DIAGNOSIS:

            Make diagnosis of SARS base on:

·       Symptoms & clinical history.

·       Chest X – ray.

·       Laboratory results – e.g. IFA test, ELISA test, etc.

·       Microbiological tests.

TREATMENT:

·       So far, there is no specific treatment.

·       Symptomatic treatment.

·       Use steroids properly to correct the function of immune system.

·       To increase the patient’s vitality and maintain his / her normal physiological functions.

·       Use oxygen if necessary.

·       Try to find out effective anti-viral drugs or serum.

SAFETY IN PUBLIC PLACES:

·       All recorded SARS cases revealed prolonged and close contact (family members, doctors and nurses) are two important points for transmission of SARS virus.

·       So far there are no recorded instances where the disease was transmitted via casual contact, traveling in public transport, etc.

·       The infectious people usually will not appear in the public places and stay long.

·       The incidence is low – only a very small percentage of the population have this disease and they are sequestered.

·       Wearing facemasks in public places and transport is not quite necessary in this stage.   WHO gave the same opinion?  

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE SARS?

·       If you have symptoms similar to SARS, go to see your doctor immediately.

·       Report to the local health authorities.  

·       If health authorities quarantine you, do not leave your house for any reason, or entertain visitors during the quarantine period.

·       Hospitalization if necessary.

CONCLUSION:

·       SARS is a severe infectious disease.    Atypical pneumonia exists for a long time but became more virulent.  It is curable.   Only a very small percentage of the population have this disease.  The chance to get this disease is small.  So, no need to scare and worry.  We believe that SARS and other disasters are due to the sin and are the signs of Jesus second coming.  Life is not holding in our hands but in God’s hands.  Believe God.  He will save us and bless us.  Visit out web: www.sdaglobal.org Please contact us.


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