SARS - Practical and administrative responses to an infectious disease in the workplace

This Working Paper emphasizes the importance of preparation at all levels to contain such epidemics and is aimed at promoting discussion, planning and activities to stimulate and encourage an appropriate future response to SARS. Although the national and international response to SARS in 2003 was effective in controlling the disease, new issues, problems and questions have inevitably been raised by the new challenges that SARS, or other similar infections, could present.

This paper also aims to link the situation with SARS to pre-existing ILO standards on occupational safety and health and working conditions. For this reason, throughout the paper, the most relevant ILO standards relating to the text are printed at the bottom of the page. The reader can then immediately link the ILO standard to the issue under discussion. Other recommendations in the paper are based on more general medical, ethical or legal concepts or approaches from various research sources, including ILO and WHO. These recommendations are for serious consideration and discussion, as part of a planned response to the threat of SARS.