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  Weekly Feature: (April 6, 2003)


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Brad's Weekly Feature


A new disease, SARS, believed to have originated in China's Guangdong province, has affected people worldwide.

The main symptoms of SARS are high fever (above 38 degrees), a dry cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath). A runny nose or wet cough (like a common cold) are NOT symptoms of SARS.

It is very important for everyone to keep fully informed of this disease while, at the same time, not spreading rumours that may cause panic in our communities.

Because the disease is new, and because we do not yet know its cause, many people have become very frightened. We need to remember that the death rate from SARS (3 to 4% of victims) is only a little more than from influenza (2 to 2.5% of victims).

At the same time, it is very important to keep informed from reliable sources of information in order to protect ourselves and our families.

This week, unfortunately, some of my students have passed on rumours about SARS in our community. Such rumours have lead to loss of business, unnecessary fears, and discrimination against people of certain races.

As a teacher, I urge you to stay informed. For this reason, I point you to sources of information that are the best available. Visit the first two links often, read your newspaper, listen to the radio or watch TV, and remember that information passed from friend to friend is very often unreliable and incorrect.

The Latest Google News about SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)

World Health Organization Frequently Asked Questions on SARS

Guidelines on Prevention of Communicable Diseases (Hand washing etc.)


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