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Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) related coronavirus (CoV) appears to be heterogeneous. Most transmission occurs through large droplets, but there is some evidence of spread through aerosol transmission. Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and scrupulous attention to hand hygiene are critical to reducing transmission of SARS, especially in health care facilities. Surgical masks have been shown to be highly effective in reducing transmission when N-95 respirators are unavailable. Health care workers bore a large burden of illness during the 2002 to 2003 SARS epidemic. Occupational health nurses working in health care agencies will play a key role in preparing for a re-emergence of the disease. Occupational health nurses should "bookmark" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for Public Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness and Response to SARS: for easy retrieval and reference.

Original publication




Journal article


AAOHN journal : official journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses

Publication Date





199 - 203


School of Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, USA.


Humans, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Occupational Health Nursing, Infection Control, Personnel, Hospital, Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional, Global Health