Acronyms. They’re part and parcel of our culture. We have CFIDS, UPS, MRSA, and AIDS. CDC, HIV, WNV, EMTALA, and HIPAA. And now we have SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and it’s big news! It has captured the attention of the masses as evidenced by decreased travel, a fall in tourism, increased media coverage, and a palpable sense of fear in some regions.
SARS likely represents a natural phenomenon, similar to the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, or the Hong Kong chicken or bird flu outbreak of 1997. The bad news according to the World Health Organization: more than 6000 cases have been identified worldwide with several hundred deaths. The case mortality presently stands at about 6% overall. The good news? If we’re lucky the epidemic has peaked, at least in the USA (another acronym).
The causative organism, according to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, is a novel coronavirus, (SARS-CoV). While a member of the coronavirus family, SARS-CoV does not appear to be closely related to any of the previously characterized coronaviruses. (Two coronaviruses that are known to infect humans cause 1/3 of common colds and are also a common cause of health care-associated upper respiratory infections in premature infants.)
What is the definition of a probable case of SARS? CDC says:
- Measured temperature greater than 100.4° F. (greater than 38° C.) and
- One or more clinical findings of respiratory illness (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or hypoxia) and
- Travel within 10 days of onset of symptoms to an area with documented or suspected community transmission of SARS (e.g., China, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Vietnam, Singapore, Toronto in Canada), or close contact with someone who recently returned from one of those areas, or
- Close contact (e.g., having cared for, having lived with, or having direct contact with respiratory secretions and/or body fluids of a patient known to be suspect SARS case ) within 10 days of onset of symptoms with a person known to be a suspect SARS case.
What is your risk for SARS? Good question, especially as there is presently no cure for this new syndrome. If you’ve not traveled recently to one of the involved regions, and if you’ve avoided close contact with people who have signs and symptoms of illness, your risk is low. Fortunately, that will likely be true for most of us, in spite of pictures showing people wearing facemasks here, there, and everywhere. It does reinforce the admonition many of us received from our parents in childhood: wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay away from sick people if you possibly can.
As with many other infections, even if you come into contact with someone who is sick, other factors can impact whether or not you become ill. Three of those factors include:
- The inoculum level (the numbers of organisms to which you were exposed)
- Their virulence (how lethal the organisms are in terms of ability to cause illness)
- The current state of your own immune system (weak or strong)
This last factor can give most of us not only the motivation to live a high-level-wellness lifestyle in balance but to consciously include strategies that are believed to strengthen immune system function. Strategies that can help us to fight off attacks of pathogenic organisms, or that can help us to survive the illness if we do succumb.
For me, adding EnerPrime™ to my lifestyle is one of those strategies. It’s a form of insurance for my health, much as the same way in which I purchase automobile insurance. Does my coverage prevent all accidents? No. I need to maintain my vehicle in the best possible condition and drive responsibly and defensively. If the unexpected does occur and another driver loses control of his/her vehicle in an environment that negatively impacts mine, does the policy help to repair the damage? Mine sure does!
The bottom line: I’m grateful to be living in the greatest country on earth and to be taking the greatest green stuff on the planet. Heads up—the life you save may be your own.
©Arlene R. Taylor PhD, Realizations Inc