Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a respiratory infection that was first identified in a 2003 outbreak.
SARS is caused by a specific group of viruses. The viruses are spread from droplets in the air. The droplets come from spray when a sick person sneezes or coughs. Viruses can also be picked up from objects that an ill person has touched.
Factors that may increase your chance of developing SARS include:
SARS requires care from your doctor. If you suspect you have this condition, contact your doctor right away.
SARS may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
There are currently no medications to cure SARS. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics. Researchers are looking for a way to shorten the course and severity of the infection with:
The symptoms of SARS may be treated with oxygen therapy. If you are having difficulty breathing, you may be given oxygen through a tube or mask. More severe problems may require a machine to help you breathe.
To help reduce your chance of getting SARS, take these steps:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.or... . Accessed September 19, 2013.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/sars . Updated April 16, 2013. Accessed September 19, 2013.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated January 15, 2013. Accessed September 19, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Michael Woods, MD