The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is the disease which is caused by the specific coronavirus, and the development of the disease as the epidemic or pandemic is closely associated with the environmental factors.
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The problem is in the fact that the connection of the SARS with the environmental issues can be discussed as the interdependence because researchers discuss the changes in the environmental temperature which can cause the increase or decline of the virus activity, and the SARS itself can affect the public health and contribute to the development of epidemics resulting in infecting environments and many deaths.
Furthermore, the SARS is dangerous because of the possibilities of cross-infection. The measures to prevent the SARS pandemic should be discussed not only by epidemiologists but also by the representatives of the environment protection departments. Thus, the complex measures to prevent the recurrence of the SARS cases and SARS pandemic are based on the activities and control of the epidemiologists and environment protection departments.
Overcoming the outbreak of the SARS in 2003, epidemiologists and representatives of the environment protection department concentrated on the ways to prevent the possible epidemics in the future because the pathogenesis of the disease is not studied in detail, and it is almost impossible to determine the specific symptoms to distinguish the SARS among the other respiratory diseases immediately.
Moreover, the coronavirus can mutate (Tan and Mu 187). Thus, the threats of the future SARS epidemics are still urgent. Today, the discussion of the SARS, its causes and effects from the point of its impact on the environment develops because there are no vaccine and effective treatment to prevent the epidemics with the help of medical resources.
The typical methods to prevent the development of the SARS are the isolation and quarantine. The effectiveness of these measures can be assessed with references to the experience of Singapore in coping with the disease. The connection of the SARS with the environmental factors is also discussed, but it is rather uncertain.
The purpose of the environment protection organisations is to examine the possibilities of the SARS coronavirus to develop within the definite environments and under the impact of different environmental factors. Thus, the possibilities of the virus to survive in the air, water, and soil are still studied, and these studies are important to prevent the development of the further epidemics which are dangerous for the public health.
The first methods to prevent the development of the epidemics were the isolation of the persons with the SARS cases and of those persons who were suspected to have the SARS. The strictest and most effective regulations were provided in Singapore.
The accents were made on the mandatory notification of the suspected cases, the isolation of the people who were suspected to have the disease, the monitoring of all the cases in hospitals, and much attention was paid to the control of the temperature regime (Bandara 73).
In spite of the fact the measures and regulations used in Singapore are often discussed as too strict and violating the people’s rights, these measures should be considered as effective, especially in relation to the fact that causes of the SARS epidemic in Singapore are not associated with changes in the season temperature discussed by the researchers regarding the situation in China, and the outbreak of the SARS in Singapore could become long-lasting (Deurenberg-Yap 323; Fung).
The outbreak of the SARS epidemic is associated with the spring of 2003, but scientists state that the possible future reoccurrence of the disease can be observed in winter and autumn because the causes of the virus expansion among the public are not stated clearly (Tan and Enderwick 518). The environmental threat of the SARS for the public health remains the urgent question.
The organisations focused on the environment protection work out strategies to prevent the further development of the SARS epidemic which can be caused by the inadequate usage of the medical materials discussed as the medical waste. From this point, the utilisation of medical waste substances and water in hospitals should be supervised by the environment protection organisations in order to prevent the possible second contamination and cross-infection.
That is why, the medical waste is collected and incinerated, and medical treatment tanks are chlorinated and sterilised. These methods of disinfection should be realised and controlled by the environment protection organisations and departments because these medical equipment and waste can be hazardous for people and for the environment as the sources of the virus (State Administration for Environmental Protection 61).
To prevent the further outbreaks of the SARS epidemic, it is necessary to prevent the creation of the favourable environment for the growth and development of the coronavirus. That is why, it is important to study the stability and survival of the virus under the impact of different environmental factors such as temperature and humidity (Berg et al.; Tan and Mu 187).
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Moreover, the aspect of the air pollution is also discussed as significant to influence the development of the SARS epidemic. Epidemiologists also pay attention to the fact that the SARS epidemic is the social phenomenon which is affected by the people’s interactions, and the isolation of the suspected cases is one of the most effective methods to prevent the development of the epidemic (Tan and Enderwick 520).
One more approach to discuss the impact of the SARS for the environment and the development of the epidemic as a result of the environmental factors is the statement of the idea that the focus on the sustainable development of the environment and people’s healthy lifestyles can be effective to prevent the further SARS cases (Fung). From this point, the control of the medical waste, the prevention of evolution of the virus in water, air, and soil as a result of pollution is the environmental concern to preserve the public health.
Thus, the SARS epidemic can be prevented with references to concentrating on the environmental issues in their connection with the development of the coronavirus. That is why, to prevent the reoccurrence of the SARS outbreak to cause the public health, it is necessary to prevent the expansion of the virus in the water, air, and soil.
It is possible to control the disposal of the medical waste and use disinfection and sterilisation, but it is more important to continue the studies in order to understand the pathogenesis of the disease to produce the effective vaccine and predict the possible mutations of the virus.
The case of Singapore supports the idea that the SARS epidemic can be overcome with the help of strict regulations and isolation of the suspected cases to prevent the further development of the virus. However, the sources of the SARS require their detailed analysis to develop the most effective methods to prevent the epidemic and possible threat for the environment.
Bandara, Amarakoon. “Coping with Epidemiological Disease Outbreaks: Lessons from SARS”. Bulletin on Asia-Pacific Perspectives 2.1 (2004): 69-76. Print.
Berg, Linda, Mary Hager, and David Hassenzahl. Visualizing Environmental Science. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Print.
Deurenberg-Yap, Mabel. “The Singaporean Response to the SARS Outbreak: Knowledge Sufficiency versus Public Trust”. Health Promotion International 20.4 (2005): 320-326. Print.
Fung, Alan. SARS: How Singapore Outmanaged the Others. 09 Apr. 2003. Web. <http://www.psandman.com/articles/sars.htm>.
State Administration for Environmental Protection. “Circular on Issues Concerning the Intensification of Supervision over Medical Wastewater and Medical Waste Substances During the Period of SARS Prevention and Treatment”. Chinese Law & Government 39.6 (2006): 61-62. Print.
Tan, Jianguo, and Lina Mu. “An Initial Investigation of the Association between the SARS Outbreak and Weather: With the View of the Environmental Temperature and Its Variation”. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59.3 (2005): 186–192. Print.
Tan, Wei-Jiat, and Peter Enderwick. “Managing Threats in the Global Era: The Impact and Response to SARS”. Thunderbird International Business Review 48.4 (2006): 515-536. Print.