Viral type. The sars illness was caused by a coronavirus and "swine flu" is the influenza subtype h1n1. Both result in a severe pneumonia and can result in mutliple organ failure leading to death. The mortality rate of sars was much higher than the pandemic h1n1, as was the propensity to spread via the air.
Different viruses. Sars is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, or sars-associated coronavirus. H3n2v is a non-human influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs and that has infected humans. Viruses that normally circulate in pigs are “swine influenza viruses.” when these viruses infect humans, they are termed “variant” viruses. In 2012, h3n2v outbreaks associated with exposure to pigs in july.
Different virus. Swine flu is the h1n1 variant of the human influenza virus. Sars is a form of the coronavirus. They both exhibit different mechanisms of replication in the cell and entry into the cell, have different replication rates, and different virulence factors.
Just different virus. It's a different type of virus (or viral strain).
SARS. Sars epidemic, several years ago, was life threatening in many, was spread person to person. It is caused by a completely different virus, no swine flu, hini caused an epidemic several years ago, tended to be milder, does have effective treatment. A vaccine is available. A more recent swine flu called h3n2, has infected over 150 patients, and is picked up directly from contact with swine.
No. "swine" or h1n2 influenza is a specific virus serotype. The specific viral serotype for sars was not identified as being the same virus.
Yes. Healthcare providers take risks everyday to take care of patients with potentially lethal diseases. We take precautions, especially when dealing with communicable diseases, but acquiring a serious disease comes with the territory.
No. You only treat when you know that you have the disease. There are things that the government does to prevent the spread of the disease. This include vaccination. There are times were the risk of the patient developing the infection is very high and at times we give medication to prevent the disease, but it is only in a setting were the patient is at very high risk of catching the disease.
What to do if I have to do this leaflet for years 1+2 about diseases, like sars and swine flu. How are they transmitted?
Leaflet. If asked to do a leaflet about a medical topic that is not in an area of yoru expertise, it would be wise to consult an authoritative source like the CDC website for information. The CDC does a good job in making medical information available in a way that everyone can understand it.
If you are on call. You are on call. In fact, during an outbreak many physicians may have a duty to report to various hospitals and simply stay on. Pulmonologists, intensivists, and infectious disease physicians all expect to deal with potentially deadly infections, and take precautions. As a caveat, I took care of 28 patients in the h1n1 outbreak that were confirmed positive.
Care. Physicians have to provide care no matter how dangerous is condition. Special equipment has been developed to protect physicians, but they still can jeopardize own lives.
Less severe. As of now swine flu is difficult to transmit to humans, therefore is less of a direct health threat, at present unless one has prolonged exposure to pigs. The virus has some biological similarities to a flu virus that caused a very deadly flu pandemic in 1918 which killed 50 million people. The fear is a mutation in the swine flu virus could enable it to more easily infect humans, as in 1918.
Not as bad. While sars and bird flu have high mortality and it is much lower with swine flu. The outcome depends on individual susceptibility and general health status. There is finite mortality with swine flu as well.
No, yes, yes. Influenza tends to start in the late fall, peak through the winter and taper off in the spring. Sars occurred over 1.5 years and had sporadic outbreaks based on contacts and animal carriers, and hasn't been seen since 2004.
Yes. Since 2004, no cases of sars reported anywhere in the world. In 2011, a specific h3n2 virus was detected with genes from avian, swine and human viruses and the 2009 h1n1 pandemic virus m gene. There were 12 human infections with this virus, termed h3n2v, most were associated with exposure to pigs. In 2012, h3n2v outbreaks in human associated with exposure to pigs began in july and never ended.