Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP
Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP is the Chair of the Department of Medicine at Michigan State University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Indiana University.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) facts
- What is severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)?
- What causes SARS? How is SARS transmitted?
- What are risk factors for SARS?
- What are SARS symptoms and signs?
- How is SARS diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for SARS?
- What is the prognosis of SARS?
- Can SARS be prevented?
- Where can people get more information about SARS?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) facts
- SARS is a contagious respiratory disease first identified in 2002.
- SARS is caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that exists in bats and civets in Southern China.
- The infection is spread easily from person to person through respiratory droplets.
- Infected people have symptoms of pneumonia, including fever and shortness of breath. Diarrhea may also occur.
- Severely affected people experience respiratory failure and may need mechanical ventilation. Older people, pregnant women, and those with underlying illnesses are at higher risk for severe disease.
- No cases of SARS have been diagnosed since 2004. SARS should be suspected in people with a compatible illness who work with SARS-CoV in the laboratory or who have gotten ill after exposure to bats or civets in Southern China.
- If there are grounds for suspicion, respiratory secretions are sent for testing to reference laboratories or to the CDC.
- There is no medication that is known to treat SARS. Treatment is supportive.
- During the 2002 outbreak, approximately 25% of people had severe respiratory failure and 10% died.
- The SARS outbreak in 2002 was controlled solely by using public-health measures such as wearing surgical masks, washing hands well, and isolating infected patients.
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