The plague within: an Australian doctor's experience of SARS in Hong Kong

Peter A Cameron
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05332.x
Published online: 19 May 2003

This is the first time I have felt threatened by the work that I do

It begins on Tuesday afternoon, 11 March, with another bothersome call from hospital administration. They want to take over our Emergency Department (ED) observation ward because the Department of Medicine has a couple of doctors who feel ill. They think that this illness may be contagious to other staff and patients, so a ward with a separate entrance and separate air-conditioning would be ideal. I make them aware that this action would severely hamper operations within the ED and that they should manage these doctors the same way we have treated the five ED doctors who, at the moment, have some viral illness: send them home. My answer to their request: no way.

  • Emergency Medicine Academic Unit, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.



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