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SARS Information

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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) is a coronavirus. The CDC believes this virus is responsible for the global epidemic. It seems that over the last few years, more and more viruses are popping up like wildflowers across the world, or at least we are being made aware of them. From the West Nile virus to Chronic Wasting Disease, now to SARS, there is some concern over these viruses. There is also a certain degree of panic that is occurring due to not only the reality of the viruses, but also due to the media taking some of these and blowing them out of proportion. Survive Outdoors will try to address these issues in the best way possible.

Survive Outdoors also recommends www.cdc.gov for further detailed information of SARS and more recent updates. According to the CDC, clinical criteria are as follows:

There are three different phases of SARS. The first phase is an asymptomatic or mild respiratory illness very similar to the common cold. The second phase is the a moderate respiratory illness which is characterized by a temperature of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and one or more clinical findings such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. The third phase, severe respiratory phase, is a temperature of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, one or more clinical findings such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, an x-ray which showed evidence of pneumonia, or on autopsy, the pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome is without any identifiable cause. There are laboratory tests that can be drawn, and it is basically an antibody that is drawn to test for SARS-CoV. These antibodies would be found greater than 21 days after the illness. There are more detailed labs that are drawn; however for the Survive Outdoors audience, we refer you to the www.cdc.gov website for more specific labs.

The incubation for SARS is approximately 2-7 days from exposure. This means that from the time of exposure to the time that the affected individual would display symptoms is approximately 2-7 days. This can be as long as 10 days. It is very uncommon for there to be a rash or any neurological symptoms, unlike West Nile virus, where one does see a rash. After about 3-7 days, a very dry, nonproductive cough and difficulty breathing may occur, somewhat unlike a bacterial pneumonia where there can be a productive cough. On chest radiographs, it would not be uncommon to see patchy infiltrates, and for the general public, this is of very little use. However for the healthcare provider, these patchy infiltrates would be beneficial in making the diagnosis.

Due to SARS being a virus, antibiotics are not helpful, although they may be given because there may be a bacterial pneumonia at that time. In terms of treatment, there is no treatment for SARS. Supportive treatment is helpful. Survive Outdoors has been inundated with many questions such as wearing masks on airplanes, gowns, gloves, etc. At this time, the CDC is not recommending wearing masks unless you are going to an endemic area. If you are traveling out of state, Survive Outdoors strongly advises that you check www.cdc.gov for areas that are at this time endemic with SARS.

Hand hygiene is essentially, and washing hands frequently is important. If you are working with an individual, or suspect an individual of having SARS, eye protection and masks are highly recommended.

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