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SARS, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Friday, July 27th 2012. | Disease, Respiratory System

 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Definition

In March 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) triggers a “global alert” following the emergence of an infectious disease highly contagious respiratory tract in Vietnam and China: the acute respiratory distress syndrome. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrom called (SARS) in English, this syndrome is probably first appeared in Hong Kong.

The infection is caused by a virus transmitted from animals to humans, when animals and humans live in very close contact. It is suspected that the civet – much appreciated food in southern China – transmitted the virus to humans in southern China.

HIV transmission is through respiratory droplets by the INTERMEDIATE if close contact with an infected person. One suspects, however, that the virus can be transmitted over greater distances through air, drinking water, saddles and air conditioning devices. To date, researchers have known that the virus can survive at least 24 hours, outside of an organization.

By cons, temperatures above 56 ° C destroy the virus, important fact to know when foods eaten hot, without prior proper cooking.

Respiratory Disease (img : Thanks to auuuu.org)

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Causes

The virus is part of the family coronarovirus. Responsible for approximately 30% of all colds and respiratory infections, such coronarovirus were heavily modified over time.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus has been around a long time, but had not yet been transmitted to humans.

Intense research aims to discover the circumstances of transmission to humans, which could be due to eating habits specific to certain regions of China. As part of these studies, tests were conducted including mice, pigs and poultry.

The risk of contamination is highest members of the family and relatives living in close contact with patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Are also exposed to this risk: the medical and nursing staff, seniors and people with weakened immune systems.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Symptoms

The incubation period (time between infection and the onset of symptoms) is of the order of 2-7 days in rare cases it can reach 12 days. After returning from an area at risk and in the presence of isolated symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Potential symptoms:

  • High fever (up to 38 ° C)
  • Severe cough
  • Breathing difficulties up to the respiratory distress
  • Sore throat
  • Headache, muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disturbance of consciousness (confusion)
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin irritation
  • General feeling of illness

According microbiologues, the SARS virus affects more and more frequently not only respiratory, but also the stomach and intestinal tract. This can result in kidney failure and other organs, which can be life threatening.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Diagnosis

In case of suspicion, it is first necessary to conduct a detailed history: if the patient has had contact with SARS cases, circumstances and time of contact, any trip to a country at risk.

Clinical examination, laboratory tests, radiographs, and the patient’s general condition consolidate the diagnosis. On radiographs, there is the image of an atypical viral pneumonia, which can be confirmed by computed tomography. The pathogen is determined by procedures very complicated and expensive.

The majority of patients have symptoms very severe, requiring treatment in an intensive care unit.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Treatment Options

With no direct treatment for viral infection, treatment is purely symptomatic and directed most often in an intensive care unit. It requires the complete isolation of the patient and close monitoring 24 h/24 h. A drug used to treat hepatitis C appears to reduce the progression of the disease.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Possible Complications

If the patient survives, the disease leaves no serious sequelae. The mortality rate is 3% to 40%. This mortality rate is higher for people from areas at risk, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems (HIV).

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Preventive Measures

Preventive measures include avoiding areas at risk. Wearing a mouthguard properly allows people who are in direct contact with infected people to protect themselves.

This protection only reduces the risk of infection, but does not prevent 100% transmission of the infection. Nursing staff in contact with infected people should wear protective clothing and special bear a proper respiratory protection.

The search for an effective vaccine to protect against the disease continues.


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