PUBLIC HEALTH FACT SHEET
What is SARS?
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus which first emerged in 2003 as a cause of human disease.
How is it spread?
SARS is thought to be spread through the air by close person to person contact. One mechanism is when an infected person coughs or sneezes and you breathe in the respiratory droplets. Another mechanism is when you touch a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
How is it treated?
The CDC recommends that patients with SARS receive the same treatment as those patients with serious pneumonia. This may include medications, rest and nutrition. The SARS corona-virus (SARS CO-V) is being tested against antiviral drugs to determine the most effective treatment.
How can we prevent SARS?
Frequent hand washing with soap and water, or use of an alcohol-based hand rub is very important. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands. Covering and controlling coughs and sneezes is essential.
SYMPTOMS OF SARS
- Fever greater than 100.4 F
- Nonproductive (dry) cough
- Body aches
- Overall feeling of discomfort