Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How The New Coronavirus Might Be Like SARS: Hospital Spread

Wired:  By Maryn McKenna
The most recent update on the novel coronavirus that has been spreading in the Mideast since last summer adds three more cases to the outbreak, and raises the possibility that most of the recent cluster — 13 cases out of 30 — may be due to the infection spreading within one hospital. Infectious disease experts find that worrisome, because when the related disease SARS arose 10 years ago, hospitals unknowingly amplified its first rapid spread. International health authorities are taking this threat seriously: On Monday, the World Health Organization published a multi-page infection-prevention guide for any hospitals that might take in victims.
When SARS broke out of southern China in early 2003, I was in the midst of a year-long project shadowing members of the disease-detective corps of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the Epidemic Intelligence Service. Some of the most explosive outbreaks they were sent to investigate were in hospitals, and front-line health care workers were some of the earliest victims.
I thought it would be worth remembering what the early days  of SARS were like, while we wait to see what this new virus does next. So over the next few days, I’m going to run a couple of excerpts from a book I wrote in 2004 about the EIS, Beating Back the Devil. In this one, a hospital swamped by SARS locks its doors, with its sick personnel inside. In the second excerpt, a doctor who worked in that hospital — and alerted the world to the threat — loses his life to the disease.

Continued:  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/05/coronavirus-sars-hospitals/

No comments: