SARS is a disease whose first outbreaks were reported in China in 2002. The causative agent of the disease was the SARS coronavirus. In 2019, a new epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19 broke out.
What is SARS?
SARS is a viral disease that has an incubation period of 2-10 days. This is followed by a feverish period lasting 10-14 days. Severe acute respiratory period proceeds in 4 stages:
- The duration is 2-3 days. The patient has a moderate condition and a primary influenza-like infection.
- It is called the stage of immunodeficiency and is accompanied by a sharp decrease in the efficiency of the immune system, a deterioration in the general condition of patients, and a decrease in the number of lymphocytes. The duration is 3-4 days.
- Against the background of reduced immunity, viral pneumonia develops. Patients develop a distress syndrome in which there is respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.
- It is called the terminal stage. Patients are diagnosed with toxic shock and severe insufficiency of the functions of internal organs.
Viral pneumonia is accompanied by fever, in which body temperature rises to 38 degrees or more. Patients complain of frequent headaches and fatigue even when doing their usual activities. In pathology, patients are diagnosed with the appearance of a dry unproductive cough, muscle pain, and general malaise. With viral pneumonia, sneezing and runny nose, which are characteristic of colds, are absent. Patients may be asymptomatic for up to 10 days. In severe form, respiratory failure and hypoxemia develop.
During the epidemic, a quarter of patients had a severe disease. The risk group included elderly people with chronic diseases - chronic hepatitis, diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular system. The lethal outcome was in 9-12 percent of patients during the epidemic.
When was the SARS outbreak in China?
For the first time, viral pneumonia was detected in the Chinese province of Guangdong. During the multiplication of the pathogen of the SARS coronavirus, the cells of the alveoli of the lungs are destroyed. Within two months, the disease had spread to Vietnam and Hong Kong.
The first patient with viral pneumonia was admitted to Foshan Hospital in China and died shortly thereafter. Doctors managed to find out that an unknown form of the disease became the cause of death. The World Health Organization was not informed by officials until February 2003 of the number of cases and deaths.
Since the truthful information was not open and submitted in a timely manner, the start of measures taken by the world scientific and medical communities was delayed and attracted a large number of deaths.
How long did the SARS epidemic last?
The epidemic began in November 2002. Public attention was drawn to the disease in 2003 when an American businessman contracted viral pneumonia after traveling to China. The patient developed symptoms on the way to Singapore and the plane was urgently landed in Vietnam. During the treatment of the patient, 5 medical workers in Vietnam became infected.
SARS ended in China in July 2003. During the epidemic, 8096 cases of infection were registered in 29 countries. Died 774 died.
How did you beat SARS in China?
On January 8, the first patient was discharged with viral pneumonia. The fight against the disease was quite tough. Chinese authorities have banned people from spitting on the street and throwing away cigarette butts. On May 12, 2003, the decision was made to end the quarantine and 25,000 children in Hong Kong went back to school. The government managed to intimidate people with huge fines for not following the quarantine rules. This caused a decrease in the intensity of the spread of viral pneumonia.
On May 31, the World Health Organization excluded Singapore from the lists of infected countries, since not a single case of infection was registered in the state for 20 days.
Will it be the same with the coronavirus?
Accordingly, with conservative estimates, the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan in 2020 may exceed viral pneumonia by 10 times. In China, diseases often appear that local doctors are struggling with. History shows that there was an anthrax outbreak in the People's Republic of China in 2018. In 2019, 106 infections were recorded in China.
In 2002 there were outbreaks of viral pneumonia, which stopped in 2003. How it will be in the situation with the coronavirus is unknown. Doctors say that coronavirus is a serious problem, as it occurs due to exposure to 38 types of viruses, 5 of which are contagious. COVID-19 can mutate quickly. Due to the openness of the borders of the whole world and the developed tourist network, the virus is rapidly spreading around the world.
The disease is manifested by a slight increase in body temperature, weakness, fatigue, and malaise. That is why most patients confused the pathology with the common cold, which contributed to the spread of the coronavirus. In the case of COVID-19, the situation is similar to viral pneumonia. If in 2002 the Chinese authorities hid information from the WHO, then in 2020 it will be the government of South Korea. In addition, the president of this country was inactive at first, therefore, appropriate treatment and prevention were not carried out, which led the country to take second place after China in terms of the number of infections and deaths.
Compared to 2002, the Chinese authorities are actively fighting the coronavirus. They closed the seafood market in Wuhan for disinfection. For the treatment of patients, isolated wards are allocated to avoid transmission of the virus to other patients. After contact with people with coronavirus patients and medical workers, they are placed in quarantine. Railway and automobile stations, airports are equipped with scanners for measuring body temperature, which ensures the identification of patients.
As of March 15, borders have been closed in many countries. In China, Italy, Ukraine and other states interregional communication is blocked. Coronavirus is a dangerous and unknown disease. A vaccine is currently being developed in medical laboratories in various countries. But, there are doubts about its effectiveness in the future. If viral pneumonia was overcome, then it is not known what will happen to the coronavirus pandemic.
SARS and coronavirus are diseases that affect the respiratory tract and are transmitted by airborne droplets. The main method of treatment of diseases is their prevention. Doctors recommend avoiding unprotected contact with wild and domestic animals. Meat, eggs and other animal products should be thoroughly cooked before eating. When coughing and sneezing, it is recommended to cover your nose and mouth. People should wash their hands regularly with soap or alcohol tablets.