SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Appetite - loss         Breathing - difficulty Chills
Cough Diarrhea Dizziness
Fatigue/exhaustion Fever Head - ache
Muscles - aching Nausea Nose - runny
Throat - sore Vomiting  

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a life-threatening viral respiratory disease caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). It is also considered as a serious form of pneumonia.

When someone with SARS coughs or sneezes, infected droplets spray into the air. People can catch the SARS virus if  breathe in or touch these particles. The SARS virus may live on hands, tissues, and other surfaces for up to 6 hours in these droplets and up to 3 hours after the droplets have dried.

Droplets of an infected person can easily reach the air and the virus stay 3 to 6 hours in surrounding surfaces. Suspected cases of SARS must be immediately isolated as long as it is highly contagious.

SARS is sometimes misdiagnosed because it looks like cold or influenza in the first stage. Respiratory symptoms develop three or more days after exposure.

The fever is usually above 38 °C (100 °F). After 2 to 7 days, may appear a dry cough but in a few cases it produces phlegm (sputum). Most patients develop pneumonia.


SARS cases can be confirmed with the following tests, some of them are indicated to rule out other diseases:

-         Chest X-ray or CT scan

-         Blood analysis (complete blood count, clotting and chemistry tests)

-         Sputum analysis

-         Urine analysis

-         Pulse oxymetry

Direct tests to confirm the diagnose includes:

-         Isolation of the SARS virus

-         Antibody tests

-         Rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test

  More Information:
SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Treatment
SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Healthcare Centers

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