09/08/2004

Environmental and Occupational Health Response to SARS

The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) placed unprecedented
demands on healthcare practitioners, healthcare institutions, and public works
personnel worldwide. Taiwan reported the third largest number of SARS
infections and deaths, followed by Hong Kong and mainland China (1). At the
request of the Taiwan Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) sent staff to Taiwan that included epidemiologists, infectious
disease experts, and environmental and logistical specialists. Industrial
hygienists were requested to investigate and help develop guidance for
hospitals about patient isolation rooms, personal protective equipment, general
infection control, and hospital health and safety.

Efforts by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
industrial hygiene specialists who assisted Taiwan in controlling the
transmission of SARS are described in the July issue of Emerging Infectious
Diseases, a peer-reviewed journal published by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
The NIOSH specialists were part of a team deployed by CDC in early 2003 at the
time of the SARS outbreak in Taiwan. The article, "Environmental and
Occupational Health Response to SARS, Taiwan, 2003," depicts the rapid
assistance that helped Taiwanese authorities keep medical personnel and
patients safe through infection control methods such as utilization of personal
protective equipment and construction of adequate isolation rooms.
Environmental findings and observations from their visits to hospitals and
medical centers throughout Taiwan are detailed in the article.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health