This can't be good....Hospital chief stricken with SARS..

  1. Signs of SARS in a hospitals chief


    Thomas Crampton/IHT International Herald Tribune March 24, 2003

    Hong Kong official has the symptoms Severe pneumonia suggests he has SARS

    HONG KONG The chief of Hong Kong's hospitals was hospitalized Monday with severe pneumonia symptoms as infections from a deadly respiratory disease continued to rise.
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    Vietnam on Monday reported four deaths from the disease, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. Hong Kong, the hub from which travelers spread the disease around the world, reported two more deaths, bringing the total there to 10.
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    The disease has spread to 15 countries on three continents and a total of 20 people suffering infections are believed to have died.
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    The number of patients in Hong Kong has continued to rise at an average pace of about 20 per day over the last three days, with 265 patients now hospitalized suffering possible infection and 38 undergoing treatment in intensive care.
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    Despite the persistently rising number of infections, the health authorities stressed that all new infections in Hong Kong had occurred in friends, family or colleagues of those infected or in health care workers treating infected patients.
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    ''We can't say the infection rate is slower,'' said Yeoh Eng-kiong, Hong Kong's secretary for health, welfare and food. ''But we can see the route of infection in all these cases.'' Most of the infections in Hong Kong are traced to a doctor who traveled to Hong Kong from southern China. The doctor had been treating patients in Guangdong Province who were suffering from an outbreak of pneumonia that the Chinese government said killed five and infected more than three hundred.
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    A team from the World Health Organization arrived in Beijing on Sunday to determine whether the outbreak in Guangdong was related to the disease that had spread from Hong Kong.
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    Although listed among the 15 countries reporting cases of the disease to the World Health Organization, China is the only government not to give any information on how many people have been infected or killed by the outbreak.
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    The reluctance of the Chinese government to make public information fueled panic in Guangdong as people snapped up supplies of traditional medicines, antibiotics and vinegar for use as a disinfectant.
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    The disease prompted the World Health Organization to raise a ''global alert'' for the first time in a decade due to the speed, severity and highly infectious nature of the disease.
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    Yeoh described spending time with William Ho, chief executive of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, just hours before he checked into the hospital suffering severe pneumonia.
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    ''The disease was very, very quick,'' Yeoh said. ''We both attended a function on Saturday, but by Sunday night he had a high a fever, chills and had to be hospitalized.''
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    Ho could have contracted the disease during his many visits to hospitals when he may not have followed proper cleaning procedures, Yeoh said.
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    ''It is quite easy to get infected if you do not follow proper procedures,'' Yeoh said. ''A surgical mask when around those who are infected and thorough hand-washing are very good defenses.''
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    The identity of the virus has not been conclusively determined, Yeoh said, but four teams of scientists have separately discovered two different viruses that may be the source of disease.
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    Scientists at the University of Hong Kong say they suspect a member of the coronavirus family to be the likely suspect and have developed a test to diagnose it.
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    Coronavirus has variants found in chickens, cattle, pigs, cats and dogs and is the second-most-common cause of colds.
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    Working separately, scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong identified a member of the paramyxovirus family, which includes measles, mumps and canine distemper.
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    ''Both viruses are the possible cause and both have common forms in the community,'' Yeoh said. ''We must figure out which one is more relevant.''
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    As for treatment, Yeoh said that 85 of the first 100 health care workers infected by the disease had responded positively to a drug cocktail that combined ribavarin and steroids.
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    Among the 38 patients in intensive care whose condition has not improved, some have been treated with a serum of antibodies extracted from the dozen patients who have been discharged after recovering from the disease.
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    ''The condition of those treated with extracted antibodies has improved,'' Yeoh said. ''But this is not a solution since the giving of human plasma has risks as well as benefits.''
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    As concern increases over the spreading disease, Yeoh warned that cases of discrimination have already been reported against health care workers and their families. The majority of those infected have been health care workers.
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    ''We have seen signs of prejudice against some children of health care workers,'' Yeoh said. ''This is not only unfair, but it can go against the efficacy of prevention measures by making people reluctant to report the illness.''
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    Yeoh stressed that any worker with a fever, a key symptom of the disease, should stay away from work and seek medical attention.
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Mar 24, '03
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    Thank you deespoohbear, very interesting article, also very scary. I wonder if all these docs that have such poor isolation technique are going to clean up their acts now. All infection control studies show nurses are far more likely to follow correct protocol.
  4. by   deespoohbear
    I didn't realize that when I posted it the first time that it like double (or tripled) posted.... I was in a hurry to get my niece home and something funky happened when I hit the post message button. Well, I think I fixed it now....
  5. by   recnurse1
    One of the teachers at the school where I work told me that Guangdong province in China is the area that clears and does the physicals on ALL children adopted from China to foreign nations. She has adopted 2 girls from China in the past, and this is where she had to go to get them. Maybe one reason they are so tight-lipped with their statistics? hmmmm.... just a thought.....
  6. by   sixes
    Originally posted by oramar
    Thank you deespoohbear, very interesting article, also very scary. I wonder if all these docs that have such poor isolation technique are going to clean up their acts now. All infection control studies show nurses are far more likely to follow correct protocol.
    We may follow protocol better but first we have to know there is a problem
    10 Nurses are in isolation http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoNews/ts.ts-03-25-0012.html

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