SARS Disease Outbreak
The SARS disease outbreak occurred in 2003 when the World Health Organization issued a global alert on the disease that was similar to pneumonia (Wei et al., 2009). Similar cases were experienced in China, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. Other countries affected included Germany, United States, and Canada. The disease spread from Beijing leading to an outbreak in Tianjin city. According to Wei et al., (2009), 175 probable cases of SARS were reported. This included 21 deaths. The transfer of patients from one hospital to another stimulated the spread of the disease. A patient that was suspected of having SARS was admitted to Pingjin hospital then was later transferred to another hospital in Tianjin. After the patient had been transferred, an outbreak was reported at the Pingjin hospital (Wei et al., 2009).
Epidemiological indicators associated with the SARS
Early cases of SARS were reported mainly in the Guangdong province, China (Stockman & Parashar, 2004). The disease was limited to Southern China until a doctor who treated a patient in the Guangdong province was infected and travelled to Hong Kong.
The incubation period for SARS is between four and six days (Stockman and Parashar, 2004). Symptoms of the disease after infection are visible from the 14th day. Fevers are visible during the first days with levels greater than 38 degrees Celsius. Headaches and chills accompany the fever. Pneumonia will develop in most of the patients.
SARS disease is most infectious during the second week after infection. Increase in the illness increases the efficiency of transmission. Transmission occurs via contact with symptomatic patients through direct contact with the mucous membrane via inoculation of infectious, respiratory droplets (Stockman and Parashar, 2004).
Analysis of the SARS Epidemiological Data
Approximately 17 countries have reported cases of SARS (WHO, 2003). 2781 cases have been reported with 111 resulting to death. This provides a 4% case-fatality rate for SARS. Young adults are the most proportion of the population that has been affected by the SARS. Children are the least likely to be distressed by the disease.
Route of Transmission
The primary route of transmission for SARS is through contact with direct mucous membrane such as the nose, mouth, and eyes. Contact with infected respiratory droplets provides an avenue for transmission (WHO, 2003). Cases have been reported where persons came into close contact with people that were very ill from SARS. There have been some occasional cases of transmission because of intense exposure in workplaces.
Graphic representation of the outbreak’s international pattern of movement
How SARS spread to other areas
How SARS Outbreak can affect my community
One of the major effects of SARS would be an increase in pulmonary conditions among the affected individuals. Since it affects mostly young adults, the productive workforce of the community would decline drastically. Furthermore, if the labor force is affected especially the health workforce, efforts to put the situation under control may prove to be futile as personnel required to assist the sick will be limited. Additionally, products produced by the community that were exported to other countries would lack a market because of trade barriers that may be setup as a precaution to avoid transmission of the disease to other communities and countries. Business people who would want to invest in the community would seek to refrain from the community. Poverty levels would increase, as the community would be unable to provide for its people in terms of jobs and resources. There could be a breakdown in communication, as most people would refrain from coming into contact with other people for fear of contracting the SARS infection.
Appropriate protocol for reporting the possible outbreak
The first step the nurse should do in case of a possible outbreak is to report the matter to the local health department. This will be after confirming that the symptoms represent SARS. The nurse will then proceed to ask the patients, in this case the affected families of their recent travel history. This provides valuable information on the possible source of the virus in order to alert relevant authorities of the need to prepare in terms of responding to the situation. The nurse should also inform her superiors on the need to take necessary precautions. All medical personnel will require facemasks as a measure to reduce them from contracting the infection while attending to the patients. The nurse should also inform other health centers in the community of the possible threat of an outbreak. This will allow proper arrangement for controlling the outbreak. Facemasks will also be made mandatory while in the hospital vicinity to ensure that transmission is minimized.
Modification of care to address the increased risk due to poor air quality
The local air quality affects man’s everyday life in normal physiological activities such as breathing. The quality of air is dynamic and changes from day to day. Air quality index is an indicator of the daily air quality. It mainly focuses of the subsequent effects of breathing unhealthy air. The main pollutants considered in the determination of this index are sulfur dioxide, ground level ozone, particle pollution, and carbon dioxide. AQI scale runs from 0-500 such that the higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.
The high number of pollutants in the air when the air quality index is poor may adversely affect persons who are diagnosed with respiratory diseases such as asthma, coronary pulmonary diseases, congestive heart failure, and other cardiovascular diseases (Francis, 2006). Such patients should be educated on some of the possible effects of exposure to air with high pollutant levels. During such periods, care should be improved. This may be through ensuring effective cleaning of the patients environs such that their indoor environment is rid of pollutants.
Another modification that may be implemented, in the care of patients with respiratory problems, concerns daily activities of an individual. It is advisable to reduce short-term exposure to air by changing the duration, location, or intensity of outdoor activities. This is because of the associated risks, such as severe lung infections that may arise due to excessive exposure to polluted air.
Nutritional, and more specifically dietary changes, are also equally important to protect such patients from exposure to unhealthy air. Consumption of meals high in omega-3 fatty acids, for example, fish meals boost the body’s immune system and provide the necessary protection from infection (Francis, 2006). Alternatively, long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce incidents of cardiovascular deaths. Reduction of the salt intake and consumption of a predominantly vegetarian diet help reduce blood pressure. This prevents development of cardio-vascular diseases that may arise due to the air quality index being poor.
Patient bed Management
Those patients who are a great risk of contacting infectious diseases need to be place in separate rooms where there is minimal contact with other patients. Patients with high respiratory risks should be placed in protective isolation rooms that do not allow entry of contaminants from outside.
Procedure for attending to patients
All physicians and nurses attending to theses patients that have respiratory conditions need to use facemasks, gloves while in the room to avoid transmission of any contaminants to the patients. Clean lab coats will be required to be used on a daily basis. The nurse will also ensure that ventilation is functioning properly and adequate hand sanitizers are available for use. Use of fragrance by the nurses will be stopped, as this can contribute in aggravating the condition of the patient with respiratory problems (Wolff, 2006).
Francis, C. (2006). Respiratory Care: Essential Clinical Skills for Nurses. Oxford. John Wiley and Sons. Stockman, L. and Parashar, U. (2004). Review of the Epidemiology of Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS). Retrieved from http://www.touchbriefings.com/pdf/1043/Stockman_edit%5B1%5D.pdf
Wei, M., Sake, d. V., Yang, Z., Gerard, B., Wang, L., Li, H., et al. (2009). Detailed Record The SARS outbreak in a general hospital in Tianjin, China: clinical aspects and risk factors for disease outcome. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 1(14), 60-70.
WHO. (2003). Global Alert and Response. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/csr/sars/epi2003_04_11/en/
WHO (2003). Consensus document on the epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/csr/sars/en/WHOconsensus.pdf
Wolff, P. (2006). Improving Indoor Air Quality in Health Care Settings by Controlling Synthetic Fragrance: What You as a Nurse can do. Retrieved from