Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral lower tract respiratory condition caused by a SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1) and was responsible for an epidemic in 2002–2004. It was first detected in China in November 2002 and was then spread globally via travelers. During this outbreak, the case fatality rate was 11%. No cases have been reported since 2004 due to a collaborative global effort containing the spread of the disease which was allegedly hampered because of geopolitical issues:

sars time magazine Time Magazine cover, April 21 2003 sars time magazinTime Magazine cover, May 5 2003

[In December 2019, another strain of SARSr-CoV was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the COVID-19 pandemic]

Transmission of SARS is primarily via respiratory droplets. The average incubation period is 4–6 days with a range of as low as 1 day to as long as 14 days.

Clinical Features:
Typically SARS presents with flu-like symptoms, including fever, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, cough and sore throat.
A characteristic feature is a fever above 38 °C
SARS may progress to shortness of breath, hypoxemia and pneumonia.
The diagnosis was made on a history of travel to affected regions or contact with a known case; the collection of symptoms, especially the fever; a chest x-ray for the pneumonia; or tested positive on an approved test.

Isolation and contact tracing to identify the source and contacts
Treatment is mostly supportive with antipyretics [ibuprofen, paracetamol (acetaminophen)] and supplemental oxygen
Intubation and mechanical ventilation is needed in 10-20%

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