SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, is a respiratory illness that
has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe.
the symptoms of SARS?
illness usually begins with a fever (measured temperature greater than
100.4°F [>38.0°C]). The fever is sometimes associated with chills or
other symptoms, including headache, general feeling of discomfort, and
body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms at the
After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a
dry, nonproductive cough that might be accompanied by or progress to the
point where insufficient oxygen is getting to the blood. In 10% to 20% of
cases, patients will require mechanical ventilation.
contagious is SARS?
on currently available evidence, close contact with an infected person is
needed for the infective agent to spread from one person to another.
Contact with aerosolized (exhaled) droplets and bodily secretions from an
infected person appears to be important. To date, the majority of cases
have occurred in hospital workers who have cared for SARS patients and the
close family members of these patients. However, the amount of the
infective agent needed to cause an infection has not yet been determined.
were exposed to SARS, how long would it take for me to become sick?
incubation period for SARS is typically 2-7 days; however, isolated
reports have suggested an incubation period as long as 10 days. The
illness usually begins with a fever (>100.4 F)
the cause of SARS?
at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized
coronavirus in patients with SARS. While the new coronavirus is still the
leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, other viruses are still under
investigation as potential causes.
this be the result of bioterrorism?
There is no indication that SARS is linked to bioterrorism.
we be worried?
illness can be severe and, due to global travel., has spread to several
countries in a relatively short period of time. However, SARS is not
highly contagious when protective measures are used, and the percentage of
cases that have been fatal is low. Since the WHO global alert issued on
March 15, 2003, only isolated cases have been identified and no secondary
outbreaks have occurred.