Armed Forces site helps with SARS diagnosis

To help physicians identify Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology's Department of Pulmonary and Mediastinal Pathology launched a Web site that offers images of the virus.

The site, at www.afip.org/Departments/Pulmonary/SARS, provides illustrations of the virus in several phases. It is modeled on an anthrax Web site also developed by AFIP, said Dr. Teri J. Franks, associate chairwoman of the department.

'The department ' wanted the AFIP medical staff to be able to create Web sites on emerging diseases in a timely manner, so a template was created,' Franks said in a release.

Designers of the site aim to help radiologists'among the first to see patients'determine the symptoms to watch for, added Dr. Jeffrey Galvin, chief of pulmonary and mediastinal radiology in the Department of Radiologic Pathology.

'I felt it was very important for a radiologist to understand what the findings were in SARS because recognition is crucial,' Galvin said. 'It spreads so rapidly and having a radiologist recognize and raise the possibility of SARS could be the difference between it being contained in the emergency room or spreading throughout the country.'

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