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Occupational health responses to COVID-19: What lessons can we learn from SARS?
J Occup Health. 2020 Jan; 62(1):e12128.JO

Abstract

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, China. The agent responsible was subsequently identified as a coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2. The WHO declared this disease as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at the end of January 2020. This event evoked a sense of déjà vu, as it has many similarities to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) of 2002-2003. Both illnesses were caused by a zoonotic novel coronavirus, both originated during winter in China and both spread rapidly all over the world. However, the case-fatality rate of SARS (9.6%) is higher than that of COVID-19 (<4%). Another zoonotic novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV, was responsible for the Middle East respiratory syndrome, which had a case-fatality rate of 34%. Our experiences in coping with the previous coronavirus outbreaks have better equipped us to face the challenges posed by COVID-19, especially in the health care setting. Among the insights gained from the past outbreaks were: outbreaks caused by viruses are hazardous to healthcare workers; the impact of the disease extends beyond the infection; general principles of prevention and control are effective in containing the disease; the disease poses both a public health as well as an occupational health threat; and emerging infectious diseases pose a continuing threat to the world. Given the perspectives gained and lessons learnt from these past events, we should be better prepared to face the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Authors+Show Affiliations

PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei Darussalam. SSH School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore.PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei Darussalam.

Pub Type(s)

Editorial
Historical Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32515882

Citation

Koh, David, and Hui Poh Goh. "Occupational Health Responses to COVID-19: what Lessons Can We Learn From SARS?" Journal of Occupational Health, vol. 62, no. 1, 2020, pp. e12128.
Koh D, Goh HP. Occupational health responses to COVID-19: What lessons can we learn from SARS? J Occup Health. 2020;62(1):e12128.
Koh, D., & Goh, H. P. (2020). Occupational health responses to COVID-19: What lessons can we learn from SARS? Journal of Occupational Health, 62(1), e12128. https://doi.org/10.1002/1348-9585.12128
Koh D, Goh HP. Occupational Health Responses to COVID-19: what Lessons Can We Learn From SARS. J Occup Health. 2020;62(1):e12128. PubMed PMID: 32515882.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Occupational health responses to COVID-19: What lessons can we learn from SARS? AU - Koh,David, AU - Goh,Hui Poh, PY - 2020/6/10/entrez PY - 2020/6/10/pubmed PY - 2020/6/24/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - SARS-CoV-2 KW - coronavirus KW - health care KW - occupational health KW - outbreaks KW - public health SP - e12128 EP - e12128 JF - Journal of occupational health JO - J Occup Health VL - 62 IS - 1 N2 - On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, China. The agent responsible was subsequently identified as a coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2. The WHO declared this disease as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern at the end of January 2020. This event evoked a sense of déjà vu, as it has many similarities to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) of 2002-2003. Both illnesses were caused by a zoonotic novel coronavirus, both originated during winter in China and both spread rapidly all over the world. However, the case-fatality rate of SARS (9.6%) is higher than that of COVID-19 (<4%). Another zoonotic novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV, was responsible for the Middle East respiratory syndrome, which had a case-fatality rate of 34%. Our experiences in coping with the previous coronavirus outbreaks have better equipped us to face the challenges posed by COVID-19, especially in the health care setting. Among the insights gained from the past outbreaks were: outbreaks caused by viruses are hazardous to healthcare workers; the impact of the disease extends beyond the infection; general principles of prevention and control are effective in containing the disease; the disease poses both a public health as well as an occupational health threat; and emerging infectious diseases pose a continuing threat to the world. Given the perspectives gained and lessons learnt from these past events, we should be better prepared to face the current COVID-19 outbreak. SN - 1348-9585 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32515882/Occupational_health_responses_to_COVID_19:_What_lessons_can_we_learn_from_SARS L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1348-9585.12128 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -