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Prevention: Control

SARS has been compared to other diseases with respiratory transmission such as flu or rubella. Although SARS has spread worldwide, the numbers of cases are very low in contrast to other diseases.

The number of SARS cases branching out of a SARS index case has been estimated from 2.2 to 3.6. This supports the idea that controlled measures and the world's quick reaction to the disease was effective in containing SARS.

Graph 3.1.1 Cumulative number of reported cases (orange) and number of deaths (red) of SARS (from November 1 2002 to April 8 2003, source: World Health Organization)
From left to right: China, Hong Kong, United States, Singapore, Canada

Content Outline

Below all content of this page is listed by header title. Click on the link to go to a particular part within this page.

At anytime you can return to this list by clicking on 'Content Outline' at the end of each part.

Ways to control the disease

Since there is no vaccine for SARS, the best way to prevent the spread of SARS is by isolation and quarantine, which proves to be a great inconvenience. Yet, these actions will shorten the incubation period and thus controlling the spread of SARS.

Personal story from Ms. Barb Wahl

Below you find a story from Ms. Barb Wahl. She was isolated during the SARS outbreak.

"Quarantine was very difficult. Not being near my family, not being able to touch them. I was sleepless, stressed, feeling despair every time I went to work. I felt depressed, angry at how it was mishandled, especially isolated, suffered from insomnia and had a tremendous fear of bringing a deadly disease home to my children."

"The babysitter refused to babysit my child. Friends, family and parents of my child's classmates did not want their kids to play or contact my family. I had several vivid nightmares during outbreaks that my children were ill with SARS. One night I woke and ran to the bed of my youngest who was clutching her forehead, convinced she was burning with a high fever."

"My youngest child was teased and isolated by her peers because her mother was a nurse at a SARS hospital. My husband and children moved out for 12 days. Grandparents changed schedules to care for the children. There was stigma from friends outside of work. I suffered nightmares. I was very much isolated from loved ones. My family thought I was going to die. Just last week a number of ONA members who developed SARS after caring for SARS patients told me they continue to suffer severe emotional and physical repercussions of a disease that we still don't know that much about."


  • SARS Quiz
    In this quiz you will find questions based on the information available in Basic Guide, Virus and Prevention.

  • Crossword puzzle 3: Prevention
    Online crossword puzzle based on Virus.

  • SARS Quest - Averting An Outbreak
    In this short Flash game, you will be taking on the role of the Health Minister of the imaginary country of Asitwon. Your aim is to use all necessary means to prevent a SARS outbreak in the country.


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