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SARS:Temperature and
Temperature Sensor Related News
 

Introduction

Our initial web page on the SARS Temperature Issues started April 26, 2003 has now grown to four. This one provides a general introduction to the disease and has links to major SARS information sites.

The second page, SARS TEMPERATURE NEWS, is for news of the uses of temperature sensors around the world to screen for SARS-(Last updated May 7, 2004).

The third page, SARS TEMPERATURE SENSORS, is devoted to the temperature sensors and infrared thermal Imagers that are being used in the screening and early detection efforts (Last updated October 2003).

The latest page SARS THERMAL IMAGER CONFERENCE INFORMATION is a summary of the program held May 30, 2003 at SPRING Singapore, the National Metrology Center for Singapore, on the selection Tesing and Use of Thermal Imagers in screening people in masses for possible fever and SARS. It includes links to the SPRING Metrology Web site for downloading visual presentation materials from the Conference.

The rapid rise in SARS cases in the world has prompted many initiatives to reduce the rate of its spread by monitoring people, especially travelers, for some symptoms. Elevated body temperature is one of the easiest symptom to detect. An increased body temperature, or fever, from the "normal" (98.6 °F or 37°C) is often a good clinical indication of possible infection. It results from the body's increased metabolic rate, an automatic response to infection.

(The following description is from a FAQ on the USA's Center for Disease Control Web site, April 28, 2003)

The Illness:

What is SARS?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe. For additional information, check the World Health Organization's (WHO) SARS Web site or visit other pages on CDC’s SARS Web site.
What are the symptoms and signs of SARS?
The illness usually begins with a fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4°F [>38.0°C]). The fever is sometimes associated with chills or other symptoms, including headache, general feeling of discomfort and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms at the outset.
After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry, nonproductive cough that might be accompanied by or progress to the point where insufficient oxygen is getting to the blood. In 10 percent to 20 percent of cases, patients will require mechanical ventilation. For more information, see the MMWR dispatch.
If I were exposed to SARS, how long would it take for me to become sick?
The incubation period for SARS is typically 2 to 7 days; however, isolated reports have suggested an incubation period as long as 10 days. The illness usually begins with a fever (>100.4°F [>38.0°C]) (see signs and symptoms, above).
What medical treatment is recommended for patients with SARS?
CDC currently recommends that patients with SARS receive the same treatment that would be used for any patient with serious community-acquired atypical pneumonia of unknown cause.

A letter from Singapore, where a number of people have died from SARS

Part of the response to the occurance of SARS in a country is isolation of those possibly infected for twenty days (twice the ten day maximum incubation period). A recent letter to the students at Singapore Polytechnic appeared on the Web. It is very informative and is reproduced here, below. It is both a message of hope and concern. The concern is that all students, and those similarly exposed, follow the recommendations. The hope lies, we believe, in the fact that these steps do not seem to be very difficult things to do to stop the disease's growth. Our congratulations to Principal Low Wong Fook. Good job, well done!

The Letter from the Principal to the students of the Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore

Friday, 25 April 2003

Dear Student

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS:
EXAMINATION, HEALTH AND TRAVEL ADVISORY

The SARS virus has spread beyond countries declared by the World Health Organisation as being SARS-affected. You can help stop the spread of SARS and ensure your own well-being and the well-being of other people by exercising individual social responsibility.

For the semestral/supplementary examinations

You are required to take and record your temperature every day before coming to campus to sit for your examination. Note that you may be asked to show your temperature record to the invigilator.

If you have a temperature of 38°C or higher, you are not to come to campus for the exam. See a doctor immediately and submit the medical certificate to the Examinations Office. Return to campus only when you are declared medically fit by the doctor to do so.

If you visit SARS-affected countries

You will increase your risk of contracting and spreading the SARS virus if you visit other SARS-affected countries. Do not visit countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Canada unless it is absolutely necessary. Refer to Singapore Polytechnic website at www.sp.edu.sg frequently for update on the list of countries that are affected by the SARS epidemic.

Should you choose to visit any of the other SARS-affected countries despite the advice, you will be required to impose a 10-day home-quarantine from the date of your return to Singapore. Under such circumstances, no special arrangement will be made if your home-quarantine period overlaps with course work, course assessments or examinations.

If you are visiting a SARS-affected country during the term vacation, you should return to Singapore at least 10 days before the start of the new term for the purpose of your home-quarantine.

Foreign students not living with their relatives in Singapore are to take note that they may face difficulties getting accommodation if landlords are aware that they have visited a SARS-affected country. It is therefore imperative that foreign students arrange and confirm their accommodation before they go overseas.

If you visit non-SARS-affected countries

You will be required to take and record your daily temperature for a period of 10 days from the date of your return to Singapore should you make occasional visits during term time or during term vacation to countries that are not declared by the World Health Organisation as being SARS-affected, like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, etc.

If you commute daily during term time to and from a non-SARS country like Malaysia, you are required to take and record your temperature everyday.

Note that you may be asked to show your temperature record to your School.

If you feel unwell

If you feel unwell during term time or during the term vacation, see a doctor immediately. If at any time you need further medical attention, consult the same doctor. Do not hop from one doctor or from one hospital to another. Return to campus only when you are declared by the doctor to be medically fit to do so.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of SARS, call 993 for the Ministry of Health’s 24-hour Special Ambulance to take you to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for screening at no charge. The sooner you are screened for SARS, the better you can protect yourself, your family and others in the community.

Symptoms of SARS include:

High fever with temperature around 38 degree celcius

Dry cough

Body aches

Breathing difficulties

If someone in your house is served the Home Quarantine Order

You are required to be officially home-quarantined as well for the same period if someone living in the same house as you has been officially served the Home Quarantine Order by the Ministry of Health.

Special arrangement will be made for you if your official home-quarantine period overlaps with your course work, course assessments and examinations.

If someone in your house is on self-imposed home-quarantine

You are not required to be home-quarantined if someone living in the same house as you has been asked by his/her employer or decides on his own initiative to impose self-quarantine at home. But it is advisable that you check your temperature frequently to monitor your health.

If you are quarantined at home

You will be required to take and record your temperature daily for the period of your quarantine at home and for an additional period of 10 days after the quarantine. Note that you may be asked to show your temperature record to your School.

You can return to campus after the quarantine period if you were feeling well throughout the quarantine period. If you felt unwell during the quarantine period, you should only return to campus after you have been declared by the doctor to be medically fit to do so.

If there are important campus announcements on SARS

You should visit Singapore Polytechnic website at www.sp.edu.sg frequently as the development of the SARS epidemic worldwide may require us to inform you of changes in circumstances on campus.

If you do not have Internet access during term vacation, call the Singapore Polytechnic SARS Helpline at 6775-1133 for enquiry.

When you return to campus for the new term

On the first day of the new term, you will be required to complete a SARS Contact and Travel History Declaration Form on the SPICE network before you are given access to the campus IT services.

At any time should your circumstances change, you should submit a new Declaration Form via the Singapore Polytechnic website at www.sp.edu.sg to keep your School informed.

We appeal to your sense of social responsibility to help ensure that such precautionary measures are effective in stopping the spread of SARS. But we will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against students who do not comply with any of the above requirements.

This is in view of the severity of the threat of SARS and the need to ensure your well-being and the well-being of everyone who works in or who works with Singapore Polytechnic. And for this reason, you should make it a habit to check and record your temperature everyday just to be sure about your daily state of health.

If you need clarification, please call Corporate Communications at 6775-1133. I wish you all the best in your examinations.

Yours sincerely

Low Wong Fook
Principal
Singapore Polytechnic

(Last updated: 2 May 2003)


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