Can we halt the deadly SARS?

AS CONCERN grows over the continuing spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, the key question is whether the disease can be contained. The answer will depend on how the virus spreads and evolves, which is still uncertain, and on whether healthcare systems, particularly in developing countries, can spot SARS and respond effectively.

So far, more than 1900 people in 22 countries have contracted SARS, of whom 63 have died. While China, Hong Kong and Singapore are hardest hit, some experts fear that poor public health monitoring in some countries may mean the number of cases is actually much higher.

The World Health Organization is bracing itself for outbreaks in countries currently claiming to be unaffected by SARS, including Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines. "We genuinely believe they have no cases at the moment. But we take the possibility of new outbreaks in this region very seriously," says Peter Cordingley, a spokesman for the WHO's Western Pacific headquarters in Manila.

The disease has so far been detected mainly in countries with good healthcare systems. But David Heymann, head of infectious diseases at the WHO in Geneva, says infected people may well have travelled to a country where an unexplained high fever and cough will not immediately draw attention. But the fact that SARS often infects healthcare workers could give it away, he says.

Even where healthcare facilities are good, it is extremely difficult to monitor an infection with such common symptoms and for which there is not yet a lab test. "With influenza, there is a well-defined test and a worldwide network set up to monitor it- and still there are nasty holes in that network," says Alan Hampson of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Australia.

India could already have undiagnosed cases, he says, as it only started checking airline passengers for SARS on 31 March. "Any country where the healthcare infrastructu

Contact: Claire Bowles
New Scientist

Page: 1 2

Related medicine news :

1. Clot-busting drugs may help detect potentially deadly leg clots
2. Broken heart syndrome: Real, potentially deadly but recovery quick
3. University of Manchester uses crystals to help battle deadly diseases
4. Stanford study reveals that cells linked to asthma and eczema also help cure deadly illness in mice
5. New technology blocks gene to increase immune response against deadly brain tumor cells
6. Protein helps immune system mount instant strike against deadly flu viruses
7. Duke physicians predict risks of deadly infections after cord blood transplants
8. Small and deadly
9. Northwestern Memorial enrolling participants in two trials on new drug to fight deadly cancer
10. Stents combined with clot-busting drugs effective in limiting impact of deadly form of stroke
11. In lab studies, blocking expression of gene reduces invasion of deadly brain tumor cells

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online details ... to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only the ... and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) notes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: