Infectious Diseases

How to Treat Sars



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SARS is short for severe acute respiratory illness, and and is a very serious respiratory infection caused by the SARS cornavirus. Treatments for SARS varies and each specific case may take a different course based on the patient. There is no definite cure for SARS nor is there any one treatment that can diminish the infection. SARS had its first global debut in 2003 and resulted in nearly 800 deaths. Some treatments that have been used on patients who have recovered from SARS include, antibiotics (to ward off pneumonia), Steriods (to keep the body's immune system strengthened), Supplemental Oxygen, Chest physiotherapy, or mechanical ventilation.

Antibiotics cannot cure SARS because it is viral. However broad spectrum antibiotics are used currently to keep other infections from occurring due to the low immune system that could arise. Along with several other supportive therapies antibiotics can be most helpful in the process of healing after infection with SARS.

Steroids are mainly used with the treatment of SARS to keep the body strong while facing a potentially lethal infection. SARS is notorious for breaking down the immune system therefore; steroids are the best defense against this. Currently this treatment is controversial and could be defended in being an actual treatment. Only a doctor can know if it is right for you.

Supplemental oxygen is often used when the lungs are being restricted or irritated by the infection. This can help by helping the patient receive the oxygen needed to keep the body functioning properly. Of course, every treatment is used on a case by case basis and some patients may need this treatment for a shorter or longer period of time than others.

Chest physiotherapy is the removal of excess secretions from inside the lungs. Usually referring to mucous, phlegm, or sputum. The excess secretions are physically removed to increase the amount of oxygen in the body and create easier breathing for the patient. This treatment is used after other treatments have failed and concurrently with other treatments to increase success.

Mechanical ventilation is easily interpreted. When a patient can no longer breathe on thier own or are having severe difficulty mechanical ventilation may be needed to keep oxygen in the body while the infection runs its course.

None of these treatments are a guarantee of curing the illness however, they have been proven effective in the past. If you or anyone you know has an upper respiratory infection they should seek medical attention right away. The early symptoms may be similar to other less serious afflictions. The early detection of a potential SARS outbreak is pertinent so that other people are not infected and it can be contained quickly. And finally, if you think you may have SARS the only way to be sure and receive effective medical attention is to see a doctor.

More about this author: Shirley Rozankowski - 518012

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