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Public health interventions and SARS spread, 2003


Bell, D M; Steffen, R (2004). Public health interventions and SARS spread, 2003. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 10(11):1900-1906.

Abstract

The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was contained largely through traditional public health interventions, such as finding and isolating case-patients, quarantining close contacts, and enhanced infection control. The independent effectiveness of measures to "increase social distance" and wearing masks in public places requires further evaluation. Limited data exist on the effectiveness of providing health information to travelers. Entry screening of travelers through health declarations or thermal scanning at international borders had little documented effect on detecting SARS cases; exit screening appeared slightly more effective. The value of border screening in deterring travel by ill persons and in building public confidence remains unquantified. Interventions to control global epidemics should be based on expert advice from the World Health Organization and national authorities. In the case of SARS, interventions at a country's borders should not detract from efforts to identify and isolate infected persons within the country, monitor or quarantine their contacts, and strengthen infection control in healthcare settings.

The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was contained largely through traditional public health interventions, such as finding and isolating case-patients, quarantining close contacts, and enhanced infection control. The independent effectiveness of measures to "increase social distance" and wearing masks in public places requires further evaluation. Limited data exist on the effectiveness of providing health information to travelers. Entry screening of travelers through health declarations or thermal scanning at international borders had little documented effect on detecting SARS cases; exit screening appeared slightly more effective. The value of border screening in deterring travel by ill persons and in building public confidence remains unquantified. Interventions to control global epidemics should be based on expert advice from the World Health Organization and national authorities. In the case of SARS, interventions at a country's borders should not detract from efforts to identify and isolate infected persons within the country, monitor or quarantine their contacts, and strengthen infection control in healthcare settings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2004
Deposited On:22 Jun 2009 09:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:16
Publisher:National Center for Infectious Diseases
ISSN:1080-6040
PubMed ID:15550198
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-19289

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