HealthAdvisoryforSch ools

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Travel-Nature

Published on March 11, 2008

Author: Samantha

Source: authorstream.com

Health Advisory for Schools, Colleges and Universities on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) :  Health Advisory for Schools, Colleges and Universities on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Department of Health June 9, 2003 What is SARS?:  What is SARS? SARS is a new illness caused by a new virus called the SARS virus. It affects the lungs and can cause severe pneumonia SARS is an acronym that means:  SARS is an acronym that means Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Severe - can cause progressive disease Acute - sudden, can affect previously healthy individuals Respiratory - affects the respiratory system Syndrome – the group of symptoms What is the clinical picture of SARS? How is SARS diagnosed?:  What is the clinical picture of SARS? How is SARS diagnosed? SARS usually starts as high grade fever (higher than 38oC), flu-like symptoms of body ache, chills After about 2–7 days, SARS patients develop severe cough (not much phlegm), shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing SARS is diagnosed through its symptoms and chest x-ray that shows pneumonia Where did SARS come from? How did it start?:  Where did SARS come from? How did it start? The first SARS patients were detected in Guangdong Province, China, among the handlers of wild animals A very similar virus was recently detected among endangered wild cats in same area; virus is suspected to have “jumped” species & started to infect humans This happened also in the “bird flu” in Hong Kong; controlled by killing all the chickens How does SARS spread? :  How does SARS spread? SARS spreads through persons with severe SARS SARS patients with pneumonia propel viruses through droplets of saliva and mucous during coughing or sneezing; persons close to the patient (within 1 meter) can inhale the viruses SARS can also spread through contact with mucous or body secretions of SARS patients. When a well person touches these infected fluids then touches own nose, mouth or eyes, the virus is also transferred How contagious is SARS?:  How contagious is SARS? SARS is very contagious during the stage when the SARS patient has pneumonia When is a SARS patient contagious?:  When is a SARS patient contagious? A person who is still incubating the SARS virus (no symptoms yet for about 2-7 days) is not yet contagious When the person with SARS starts to have fever, he/she is still only minimally contagious (usually for about another 2 days) When the person with SARS develops severe cough and pneumonia, he/she is highly contagious Where are the SARS patients? :  Where are the SARS patients? Only 12 SARS patients have been reported from the Philippines so far Five (5) of them really got infected in another country The other 7 got infected from one of these 5 Two have died, the rest have recovered Therefore, there are really no SARS patients yet in the general population in our communities because cases were quickly identified and isolated How can the public know who has SARS?:  How can the public know who has SARS? Since there are no unidentified SARS cases spreading the disease in our communities, the public do not have to fear there are SARS cases in the schools Countries with unidentified SARS in communities like Taiwan or China conduct “fever clinics” or house visits looking for cases; we do not have to do that yet How can the public avoid getting SARS?:  How can the public avoid getting SARS? Avoid traveling to SARS affected countries/ areas like China, Taiwan, Toronto (Canada); if you travel there, do not visit the hospital or health care worker without due precautions (eg. mask) Follow good personal hygiene: wash hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze and when someone coughs or sneezes, do not spit anywhere, etc Follow DOH guidelines on quarantine, SARS screening, referral and isolation, as necessary Is there a way to strengthen our body against SARS? :  Is there a way to strengthen our body against SARS? Yes, by being healthy and strong Eat a well-balanced diet, avoiding salty, too sweet and fatty foods; but people can include virgin coconut oil in their diet Balance exercise with adequate rest and sleep Do not start/ immediately stop unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking, among others What should we do to prevent SARS in the schools?:  What should we do to prevent SARS in the schools? Even though there is no SARS yet in the schools, we should be alert in preventing SARS by: Enforcing the 14-day quarantine on all students, faculty or school employees who came from SARS affected countries like China Monitoring and screening persons with fever What is home quarantine? How is this done?:  What is home quarantine? How is this done? Quarantine is the process of observing the signs and symptoms of people who may have been exposed to an illness, in this case, SARS Persons under observation are separated from unexposed persons for the duration of the incubation period of the disease being suspected (SARS has a maximum of 10 days incubation period, plus 4 days allowance) Monitoring persons with fever:  Monitoring persons with fever All students, faculty, or employees with fever should stay home; this will also reduce the spread in the schools of all infections like flu All those who develop fever in the school should be brought immediately to the school clinic or health center for SARS screening (travel, contact, signs and symptoms) and proper referral, if needed What should the school do to organize action against SARS?:  What should the school do to organize action against SARS? School administrators should comply with DepEd Memos in organizing the Preventive Alert System in Schools (PASS) and orienting parents and teachers This includes planning and discussing standard procedures for monitoring fever, SARS screening and referral, and networking with local health and barangay units What should the parents do to help the school prevent SARS in the schools?:  What should the parents do to help the school prevent SARS in the schools? Parents should monitor their child’s temperature and keep them at home if they have fever; children can only go back to school when they have been afebrile (no fever) for 2 days Parents should attend Parents’ Teachers’ meetings to learn and understand SARS Parents should teach their children proper personal hygiene like frequent hand washing and covering of the nose and mouth What should the students do to prevent SARS? :  What should the students do to prevent SARS? Students should learn the signs and symptoms of SARS and how this is spread Students should follow instructions on personal hygiene Students should monitor their own temperature, stay home until they no longer have fever for 2 days, and follow procedures when they develop fever in school Conclusion:  Conclusion SARS is a highly contagious and deadly illness, but it can be prevented So far, we have prevented SARS from spreading in our local communities Everyone should cooperate in preventing the spread of SARS by understanding how it is transmitted, and by following guidelines on the early detection, quarantine/ observation, referral or isolation of suspected patients

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