might draw special attention these days at Zvartnots
Visitors to Armenia showing high temperature
or other symptoms of flu may be subject to medical
examination or, in worse cases, find themselves
in a hospital isolation ward under careful watch
of the doctors.
Officials here are taking caution against any
contact with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS), the Asian-originated illness that has
caused more than 100 deaths in Asia, Europe and
North America over the past few weeks.
"Thank God, up to now we haven't registered
any SARS cases in the republic but we should be
careful," says Chief Sanitary Doctor of Armenia,
Vladimir Davidyan. "Like in other cases,
we should use preventative measures."
And the airport is considered the most likely
port of entry for SARS so a meeting was called
among health officials to discuss how to monitor
potentially afflicted airline passengers.
"Specialists are observing, and in case
they suspect someone's condition, they will isolate
that person," says Ara Asoyan, director of
Nork Isolation Hospital.
Asoyan says there is no need to "reinvent
the wheel" in dealing with potential contact
with the virus.
think this disease like other respiratory viruses
must be scared of the sun and will avoid us during
this hot season. For now we can only concentrate
our abilities and hope that the disease won't
penetrate Armenia," says Asoyan. "We
are satisfied that the infection hasn't entered
Russia as mainly the danger can penetrate Armenia
Davidyan assures that wards in Yerevan and throughout
the regions are prepared to respond should the
Asoyan says that the Nork hospital has about
45 wards which could be utilized. Each ward has
its separate ventilation system and separate entry.
"We do everything possible that we can in
these conditions," says Vladimir Davidyan,
"and we shouldn't panic and be nervous because
of one sneeze."
But as a precaution the Ministry of Healthcare
has alerted specialists within the field of disease
prevention to be prepared to act if needed.
"Periodically information will be published
and it will keep people informed about developing
situations as well as preventing measures,"