Community Health Nursing

Read Complete Research Material


Community Health Nursing: SARS

Community Health Nursing: SARS


Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a viral respiratory illness, the time between exposure to the SARS virus and the onset of symptoms of SARS is called the incubation period. The incubation period for SARS is typically two to seven days, although in some cases, it may be as long as 10 days. SARS was initially identified in humans in 2003. It spread in a wide scale in early 2003. Gradually, the SARS virus spreads primarily by close human contact, either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface. During this period the health workers themselves faced the greatest risk of SARS virus exposure. This essay details out the symptoms, causes, and epidemiology of SARS virus. The response of nursing community to this epidemic in various situations is also discussed.




SARS Symptoms begin with high fever, headache, body ache, lethargy and sore throat. The body ache may appear 12 to 24 hours before fever. Following these initial symptoms, the SARS patients develop shortness of breath. The patients go through Hypoxia (low oxygen level in the blood). In most of the cases, mechanical ventilation becomes necessary for them (Abraham, 2007).


SARS is caused by Corona virus, the family of virus that causes flue and cold. These viruses have a halo appearance when viewed under a microscope. Corona virus have said to cause severe diseases in animals, therefore, they were not considered dangerous for humans. Initially, scientists believed that they must have been transferred from animals to humans, but, researches indicated that they evolved from an animal virus into a completely new strain.

Route of Transmission

SARS can spread by the Discharge of respiratory droplets onto the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes that are released by an infected individual through airborne transmission. These droplets cover the area of three feet. The second transmission route is the contact with the contaminated surface infected by the droplets (Brookes, 2004).

Epidemiological Data on the Outbreak

Starting Point

A contagious Pneumonia symptom was noted in the southern China in November 2002. The disease appeared to be common among the health care workers and their household members. The cases became fatal, and concerns related to this respiratory illness became widespread across china. The condition had a high mortality rate which caused death within hours.

Global Spread

HongKong- SARS then later spread to Hong Kong through a doctor who had spent some time in one of the hotels in China. By the end of 2003, total 230 sever cases of SARS were observed in Hong Kong.

Vietnam- the outbreak began in Vietnam on February 2003 through a Chinese -American Businessman. By March 5, possible SARS cases were identified among the health care workers, out of which 63 people were found to be infected.

Toronto- SARS spread in Toronto in February 2003. Gradually, the number of SARS patients among the health care workers was the major contributors of the epidemic. On July 2, WHO removed Toronto from the list of recent SARS transmission ...
Related Ads