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      SARS in Healthcare Facilities, Toronto and Taiwan

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          Abstract

          The healthcare setting was important in the early spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in both Toronto and Taiwan. Healthcare workers, patients, and visitors were at increased risk for infection. Nonetheless, the ability of individual SARS patients to transmit disease was quite variable. Unrecognized SARS case-patients were a primary source of transmission and early detection and intervention were important to limit spread. Strict adherence to infection control precautions was essential in containing outbreaks. In addition, grouping patients into cohorts and limiting access to SARS patients minimized exposure opportunities. Given the difficulty in implementing several of these measures, controls were frequently adapted to the acuity of SARS care and level of transmission within facilities. Although these conclusions are based only on a retrospective analysis of events, applying the experiences of Toronto and Taiwan to SARS preparedness planning efforts will likely minimize future transmission within healthcare facilities.

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          Most cited references 8

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          Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study.

          We investigated the temporal progression of the clinical, radiological, and virological changes in a community outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We followed up 75 patients for 3 weeks managed with a standard treatment protocol of ribavirin and corticosteroids, and assessed the pattern of clinical disease, viral load, risk factors for poor clinical outcome, and the usefulness of virological diagnostic methods. Fever and pneumonia initially improved but 64 (85%) patients developed recurrent fever after a mean of 8.9 (SD 3.1) days, 55 (73%) had watery diarrhoea after 7.5 (2.3) days, 60 (80%) had radiological worsening after 7.4 (2.2) days, and respiratory symptoms worsened in 34 (45%) after 8.6 (3.0) days. In 34 (45%) patients, improvement of initial pulmonary lesions was associated with appearance of new radiological lesions at other sites. Nine (12%) patients developed spontaneous pneumomediastinum and 15 (20%) developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in week 3. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase (RT) PCR of nasopharyngeal aspirates in 14 patients (four with ARDS) showed peak viral load at day 10, and at day 15 a load lower than at admission. Age and chronic hepatitis B virus infection treated with lamivudine were independent significant risk factors for progression to ARDS (p=0.001). SARS-associated coronavirus in faeces was seen on RT-PCR in 65 (97%) of 67 patients at day 14. The mean time to seroconversion was 20 days. The consistent clinical progression, shifting radiological infiltrates, and an inverted V viral-load profile suggest that worsening in week 2 is unrelated to uncontrolled viral replication but may be related to immunopathological damage.
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            Guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals. The Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee.

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              Cluster of severe acute respiratory syndrome cases among protected health-care workers--Toronto, Canada, April 2003.

                (2003)
              Infections among health-care workers (HCWs) have been a common feature of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) since its emergence. The majority of these infections have occurred in locations where infection-control precautions either had not been instituted or had been instituted but were not followed. Recommended infection-control precautions include the use of negative-pressure isolation rooms where available; N95 or higher level of respiratory protection; gloves, gowns, and eye protection; and careful hand hygiene. This report summarizes a cluster of SARS cases among HCWs in a hospital that occurred despite apparent compliance with recommended infection-control precautions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infect. Dis
                EID
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                1080-6040
                1080-6059
                May 2004
                : 10
                : 5
                : 777-781
                Affiliations
                [* ]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
                []Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                []Center for Disease Control, Taipei, Taiwan
                [§ ]Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
                []Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: L. Clifford McDonald, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Mailstop A35, Atlanta GA, 30333, USA; fax: 404-639-2647; email: ljm3@ 123456cdc.gov
                Article
                03-0791
                10.3201/eid1005.030791
                3323242
                15200808
                Categories
                Perspective

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