SARS Outbreak Study 1

Data Collection

Infectious Ward of the Epiville General Hospital

You begin your detective work with the infectious disease ward of the Epiville General Hospital. You start by reviewing the charts of patients who died from the mysterious disease. The administrator at the Admissions Office tells you that they suspect that this is severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), but the hospital has not yet received the materials to conduct diagnostic tests that could confirm these suspicions.

You decide to create a list with the names of the patients who have died from the mysterious disease, their symptoms upon admission to the hospital, symptom duration and if any patient family members became sick as well. You end up reviewing 12 charts of the patients who seem to have died from the same disease. Six persons were 60 and older, 4 persons were in the age range of 25 to 50, and 2 were children (3 and 11 years old). As you review the charts, you suddenly realize that all of the patients who died from the disease also happened to have the same street address and lived in the Amoy Apartment Complex. You decide to proceed by going over to their place of residence.

Amoy Apartment Complex

You arrive at the Amoy Apartment Complex and speak to Mr. Jones, one of the complex managers. Mr. Jones tells you that one tragedy after another has struck this set of buildings and people of all ages, young and old, are coming down with a severe flu and are dying. People are panicking and hardly anybody has left the building over the last three days. He has received 100 phone calls from tenants about breaking rent contracts. (The complex contains 200 apartments and serves a total of 600 residents.) Aside from those persons who have already passed away, there are 70 other people who have come down with similar respiratory flu-like symptoms. Most of these individuals were hospitalized at the nearby Epiville General Hospital. You take down the names of these people who reported being affected with flu-like symptoms and race back to the Department of Health.