Researchers are working on several types of vaccines for SARS, but none has been tested in humans. If SARS infections resume, follow these safety guidelines if you're caring for an infected person:
- Wash your hands. Clean your hands frequently with soap and hot water or use an alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Wear disposable gloves. If you have contact with the person's body fluids or feces, wear disposable gloves. Throw the gloves away immediately after use and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Wear a surgical mask. When you're in the same room as a person with SARS, cover your mouth and nose with a surgical mask. Wearing eyeglasses also may offer some protection.
- Wash personal items. Use soap and hot water to wash the utensils, towels, bedding and clothing of someone with SARS.
- Disinfect surfaces. Use a household disinfectant to clean any surfaces that may have been contaminated with sweat, saliva, mucus, vomit, stool or urine. Wear disposable gloves while you clean and throw the gloves away when you're done.
Follow all precautions for at least 10 days after the person's signs and symptoms have disappeared. Keep children home from school if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms within 10 days of being exposed to someone with SARS. Children can return to school if signs and symptoms go away after three days.
Oct. 22, 2016
- McIntosh K. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 18, 2016.
- Fact sheet: Basic information about SARS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/sars/about/fs-SARS.html. Accessed July 18, 2016.
- Longo DL, et al., eds. Common viral respiratory infections. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 18, 2016.
- Supplement I: Infection control in healthcare, home and community settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/sars/guidance/i-infection/healthcare.html#cleaning. Accessed July 19, 2016.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)