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

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: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>