ContentBasic Guide Virus Prevention Impact
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Basic Guide: Outbreak
The first SARS outbreak was in the southern province of Guangdong (China). Yet the outbreak was not identified until, after much pressure from the world governments and WHO (World Health Organization), China admitted that over a thousand cases had occurred.
With that, China agreed to start cooperating in international efforts to prevent the incoming worldwide spread of SARS.
The first SARS case was on the 26th of February 2003 when Johnny Chen, a 48-year-old American businessman, was taken into Hanoi following his trips to Hong Kong and Shanghai where he was found mildly sick. Subsequently he returned to Hong Kong for treatment but shortly after his arrival he was pronounced dead. Dr. Carlo Urbani, WHO's (World Health Organization) infectious disease expert from the WHO's Asian office in Bangkok, was called to Hanoi where he realized that Johnny Chen had died from an unknown disease and named it SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
Chen caught SARS from an infectious Chinese doctor who had been treating patients in Guangdong where the first SARS outbreak took place and who was also staying at the same hotel as Chen in Hong Kong. Consequently, Hong Kong was the next hardest hit territory after China.
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According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 'suspect' SARS cases have fever, respiratory illness, and recent travel to an affected area while 'probable' cases have the same aspects as suspect cases except there must also be evidence of pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) worked side by side with the WHO (World Health Organization) and other global partners to control SARS. The CDC has done the following:
As a precaution, one must frequently wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rubs. One must also avoid touching one's eyes, nose, and mouth as well as cover one's nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Video: Hand washing against SARS
Hand washing is an effective measure against SARS. All members of the public should wash their hands frequently, using soap (preferably liquid) and clean water. Follow the instructions of the video below for the proper way to handwash.
Ones at risk are those who are in contact with an infected person as in sharing the same household and health care workers.
Consequences of SARS have placed the world economy in danger. According to the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank, the Asian economies have grown less in 2003 due to SARS. According to a report from the World Bank Group that was published in April 2003, the industry that was hit most by the deadly lung disease was the service sector - including tourism, business journeys, and transport and consumer trade.
Vice-president of the World Bank Group, Jemal-ud-din Kassum, said that Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were the countries with the most negative consequences. According to him, the consequences of SARS are almost totally the result of the fear by the population. In November, there was an estimation of 5.5%, yet later it was lowered to 5%.
In 2003, Vice-president John Lintjer of the Asian Development Bank said that it is very important to stop the disease in a small time frame. Then the tourism season of Asia is not in danger. Tourism is responsible for 9% of the economic production of the country. The Asian Development Bank said that if SARS was not stopped within three months, it would have cost 12.5 million euro.
The World Trade Organization reported that the world economy will suffer if the Chinese economy has less growth. China has become one of the main countries in international trade. For China, the estimated growth was decreased by 0.7%, from 8% to 7.3%.
Asia is the production center for many western companies. While almost 4/5 of all Nike shoes are manufactured in Asia, the Economist reported that the company would stop producing shoes if the disease was not under control within 6 to 12 months. Meanwhile, in the technology sector, about 85% of all PCs are manufactured in Asia and over 50% of all computer chips are from Asia.
The fear that the SARS virus has lead to less plane journeys, apart from the war in Iraq, is evident. The branch organization AEA reported a journey decrease of 17% during 7 to 13 April 2003 to the Far East, compared to the same period in 2002. Plane companies in the countries that are hit by SARS had a considerable amount of cancelled flights.
However, there are companies that are experiencing positive consequences of SARS. Companies that produce surgical masks sold much more during the SARS outbreak. Internet providers sold more Internet accounts and CNN reported that shares of three Chinese Internet portals, Sina, Sohu.com and Netease.com, increased 68%, as the Internet was an important way of communication during the SARS outbreak.
While a great deal of progress has been made on developing a test to detect SARS before the symptoms occur, at this time, there is no known test to diagnose SARS.
At this time, there is no known medicine that will cure SARS. The best treatment is isolation (quarantine). To learn more on vaccines and drugs go to Prevention.
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