The Recent Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Epidemic – A Critical Review

  • SO Ike Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
  • CJ Chukwuka Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
  • ME Ohanu Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
  • EN Ofoegbu Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Epidemic, Review

Abstract

Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS) took the world by storm in the later part of February 2003.It is a syndrome characterized by fever, cough, sore throat , shortness of breath and malaise which may deteriorate very rapidly to respiratory failure and death. The symptoms of SARS are quite similar to those of common cold, malaria and respiratory tract infections all of which are common in our environment. SARS, being a new disease, has as yet neither a definite diagnostic test nor treatment. With the international transmission of SARS first reported in March 2003, it became evident that one did not need to travel to contact the disease. Nigerians travel a lot and our fragile health care facilities may not be able to contain an outbreak of SARS. It is quite fortunate that the country's inadequate health care facilities did not have to face the challenge of a SARS outbreak. Despite this, it is important that necessary facilities be put in place in case of a sudden outbreak of SARS or similar epidemics in Nigeria.

Key Words: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Epidemic, Review.

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.16(1) 2004: 26-32
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