Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Report Confirmed or Suspect Cases Immediately to the Local Health Department.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness that was recognized as a global threat in March 2003. SARS is caused by a virus called the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness in humans, including the common cold. The disease is spread by close person-to-person contact, such as caring for, living with or having direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms of SARS can vary, but may include high fever, chills, headache, body aches, pneumonia, diarrhea, dry cough, low levels of oxygen in the blood. No single medicine can effectively treat SARS. Different types of treatment regimens have been used for people who are severely ill and hospitalized including antibiotics, antivirals and steroids.

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Last Reviewed: 5/10/2017