Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Guidelines on SARS should be refined

20.06.2003


Evaluation of WHO criteria for identifying patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome out of hospital: prospective observational study BMJ Volume 326, pp 1354-8



Current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for diagnosing suspected SARS may not be sufficiently sensitive in assessing patients before admission to hospital, suggest researchers from Hong Kong in this week’s BMJ.

The study took place in a newly opened SARS screening clinic at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong from 12-31 March 2003, and involved 556 hospital staff, patients, and relatives who had had contact with someone with SARS. Of the 556 people, 141 were admitted to hospital, and 97 had confirmed SARS.


The WHO guidelines currently emphasise respiratory tract symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulty. But the team found that these symptoms did not feature strongly in the early stages of the illness. Instead, symptoms such as fever, chills, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea, were significantly more common among the 97 patients.

In screening patients for SARS, these symptoms may be better indications than the symptoms listed in the WHO guidelines, which were based on patients who were already in hospital, say the authors.

The WHO guidelines also emphasise temperature readings of 38C or more, but over half of cases did not have such levels of fever during the pre-hospital screening phase, they add.

"The WHO criteria should be refined to include routine daily follow up, documentation of non-respiratory systemic symptoms, and daily chest radiography until patients have passed at least 48 hours without symptoms," they conclude.

In a second study at the same hospital, researchers found abnormal blood cell counts in patients with SARS. For instance, of 157 patients assessed, 98% developed lymphopenia (a decrease in numbers of lymphocytes in the blood), and 55% developed thrombocytopenia (a decrease in the number of blood platelets).

Studies of the effect of SARS on various body systems are crucial to the understanding of this disease, say the authors, and further studies to evaluate the mechanisms of these changes are needed.

Contact: Emma Dickinson, edickinson@bmj.com

Emma Dickinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bmj.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>