Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

Chest | Pulmonology | Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (Disease)


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a recently discovered disease in the population of Asia, North America and Europe in late 2002 and early 2003.

The main symptoms are fever greater than 38C, dry cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Headache (headache)ca occur, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue and diarrhea. Elderly people may have malaise, loss of appetite (lack of appetite), but usually do not fever. In some cases the general condition progressively worsens, the need for hospitalization. The incubation period is the period of exposure to infectious and symptoms, is 3 to 7 days, but can be in 10 days. Doctors say the disease can be spread only if the infected person has symptoms of disease.

Causes and Risk factors

SARS is caused by an unknown virus originally part of the coronavirus family, which usually cause upper respiratory illnesses such as cold preparations (cold trivial). This virus is known as SARS-CoV. SARS, like most respiratory infections, is transmitted primarily through contact with saliva or droplets of saliva from sick people who cough. SARS is not transmitted through air, such as casual contact with an infected person or crossing the street near a sick person. Proximity (distance of 1 m) or intimate contact is required in order to transmit the infection from person to person. Cohabitation or intimate contact means caring for a sick SARS or having direct contact with saliva or sputum, coming from an infected person.

Diagnosis and Treatment

As a precaution, it is recommended, except for visits to the doctor, home isolation of infected persons, and more symptoms during 10 days after their disappearance. People suspected of disease have fever over 38 C, fever that lasts for at least 10 days, have traveled to SARS affected areas or come into contact with sick people. Severe cases usually require hospitalization, especially if there is difficulty breathing. Cases are isolated to prevent spread of disease. ...