About SARS: Resources and Information
April 4, 2003
As worldwide concern grows about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) -- a mysterious and potentially fatal illness that has recently claimed dozens of lives and stricken thousands more -- it is important for the SFSU campus community to be aware of the symptoms and to understand how to protect oneself from it, says Dr. Marie Schafle, acting director of the SFSU Student Health Service.
The Student Health Service (SHS) has posted information about SARS symptoms online. Primary symptoms are: fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), headaches, general feeling of discomfort, body aches, mild respiratory symptoms and a dry, nonproductive cough.
For recommendations on how to protect yourself from SARRS, visit WebMD.com.
SHS is monitoring the SARS situation on campus and beyond, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Yenbo Wu, director of International Programs, says no SFSU international students are currently traveling to or from any of the dangerous SARS-affected areas.
SARS is transmitted when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes droplets into the air and someone else breathes them. It is also possible that SARS can be spread more widely, from contaminated objects or through the air.
Since the first case of SARS was reported Feb. 1 in Asia -- where the illness has hit the hardest -- it has spread to 121 countries. Cases have been linked to travel to the Guangdong province of China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam. About 115 SARS cases have been reported in the United States, including 30 in California and at least 11 in the Bay Area. No SARS-related deaths have been reported yet in the United States.
SARS has claimed 84 lives worldwide.
Dr. Schafle notes that although SARS is extremely serious, deaths occur only in people who are immune suppressed, such as diabetics, asthmatics, chemotherapy patients, and those with AIDS.
Those who believe they are experiencing SARS symptoms or have recently traveled to the most affected areas should contact their physicians, visit the Urgent Care Desk at the Student Health Service on campus, or call the advice nurse at (415) 338-2754 (or ext. 8-2754 from any campus phone).