SARS (severe acute respiratory syn)

By: Jahavier Vernon

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Description of disease

are common viruses linked to infections in humans and animals.There are several recognized human corona-viruses that cause mild respiratory infections, such as the common cold. However, this type of virus can also include strains that cause more severe illnesses, such as SARS.

Symptoms

  • a high temperature (fever) over 38C (100.4F)
  • fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • headaches
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea

After these symptoms the infection will begin to affect your respiratory system (lungs and airways), leading to additional symptoms such as:

  • a dry cough
  • breathing difficulties
  • an increasing lack of oxygen in the blood, which can be fatal in the most severe cases

How it is transmitted

  • SARS is an airborne virus, which means it's spread in a similar way to colds and flu.
  • The SARS virus is spread in small droplets of saliva coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. If someone else breathes in the droplets they can become infected.
  • SARS can also be spread indirectly if an infected person touches surfaces, such as door handles, with unwashed hands. Someone who touches the surface may also become infected.
  • The SARS virus may also be spread through an infected person’s feces (stools). For example, if they don't wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, they may pass the infection on to others.

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Treatment

There's currently no cure for SARS but research to find a vaccine is ongoing.

A person suspected of having SARS should be admitted to hospital immediately and kept in isolation under close observation.

Treatment is mainly supportive and may include:

  • assisting with breathing using a ventilator to deliver oxygen
  • antibiotics to treat bacteria that cause pneumonia
  • antiviral medications
  • high doses of steroids to reduce swelling in the lungs
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