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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


Preparatory guidelines for local health services on how to respond to new cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.4, pp.288-292. ISSN 1680-5348.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States of America recently issued a set of guidelines on how different community health services should prepare for and respond to the reemergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). This document summarizes the recommendations of the CDC for basic health services. Disease surveillance in communities and hospitals should be performed in light of existing information on risk factors, particularly those related to geographic dissemination patterns and to documented transmission of SARS-CoV, the coronavirus that causes SARS. As long as no cases of person-to-person disease transmission are reported anywhere in the world, efforts should be aimed at early detection and notification of cases and of groups of people who are in contact with one another and who have severe respiratory infections of undetermined cause, such as pneumonia, which could signal the reemergence of SARS. If cases of transmission of SARS-CoV have been reported, the aim should be to immediately identify and notify any cases detected in order to take appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures and to facilitate outbreak control. The reach of surveillance and reporting activities in specific communities should depend on how widely the disease has spread, both in the community and in local health services. Physicians and public health workers should be familiar with ways to detect SARS cases early, as well as with existing norms for reporting any cases detected.

Keywords : síndrome respiratorio agudo grave; SARS.

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