This spring marks the 10-year anniversary of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Ontario, a disease that took the lives of two nurses, one doctor and 41 members of the public in the province.
These lives were cut short by an illness many health professionals knew little about. In Ontario, and across Canada, health-care workers fiercely attempted to curtail the contagious infection, but the disease’s persistent symptoms and relative obscurity proved challenging. The virus, which arrived from Hong Kong in the spring of 2003, turned the health-care system on its head and exposed a number of vulnerabilities. Nurses feared the uncertainty of the disease. They fought to be heard during the outbreak, and felt betrayed by a system that didn't take their concerns seriously. Are nurses’ voices heard and heeded today?
What lessons have we learned? And just how prepared are we for the next big outbreak?
Online RNJ Content: SARS revisited - marking 10 years - This value-added feature gives readers of the magazine a little something extra online that they won't find in the print version of the magazine. Enjoy.
Memories of the SARS outbreak of 2003 still haunt many nurses. As Ontario marks the 10th anniversary of the arrival of this perplexing disease, we reflect back on how it got here, and the challenges facing nurses during the height of the outbreak. Read more...