Isolation Measures Enacted to Stop SARS
Drastic Steps Taken To Prevent Spread of Mysterious Illness
How SARS Spreads continued...
Gerberding says people with a history of travel to the affected
areas in Asia or contacts with SARS patients should contact a medical provider
immediately if they develop any symptoms of an illness.
The CDC also expanded its travel advisory to include all of
mainland China, Hanoi, Vietnam, and Singapore. People planning non-essential
travel to these areas are advised to postpone their trips until further
In addition, CDC officials extended the monitoring period for
incoming passengers from these areas from seven to 10 days. The agency is
currently meeting flights and ships arriving from these areas at 20 U.S. ports
of entry and distributing health alert notices advising passengers to be alert
for possible SARS symptoms.
At this point, neither CDC nor WHO has issued travel
restrictions to the areas hardest hit by the outbreak.
How to Protect Yourself from SARS
To control the spread of the disease among
close contacts and healthcare workers of recovering SARS patients, the CDC now
recommends the following safety precautions for at least 10 days after
respiratory symptoms and fever are gone:
- SARS patients should limit interactions outside the home and should not go
to work, school, out-of-home day care, or other public areas.
- During this 10-day period, all members of the household with a SARS patient
should carefully follow recommendations for hand hygiene, such as frequent hand
washing or the use of alcohol-based rubs.
- Each patient with SARS should cover his or her mouth
and nose with a tissue before sneezing or coughing. If possible, a person
recovering from SARS should wear a surgical mask during close contact with
uninfected people. If the patient is unable to wear a surgical mask, others in
the home should wear masks when in close contact with the patient.
- Disposable gloves should be considered for any contact
with body fluids from a SARS patient. However, immediately after activities
involving contact with body fluids, gloves should be removed and discarded and
hands should be washed. Gloves should not be reused, and are not intended to
replace proper hand hygiene.
- SARS patients should avoid sharing eating utensils,
towels, and bedding with other members of the household, although these items
can be used by others after routine cleaning such as washing or laundering with
soap and hot water.
- Other members of the household need not restrict their
outside activities unless they develop symptoms of SARS such as a fever or