Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness. SARS showed how quickly infection can spread in a highly mobile and interconnected world
SARS typically begins with flu-like signs and symptoms —
- Muscle aches
- Occasionally diarrhea.
After about a week, signs and symptoms include:
• Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath
When SARS first surfaced, no specific tests were available to help doctors diagnose the disease. Now several laboratory tests can help detect the virus. But no known transmission of SARS has occurred anywhere in the world since 2004.
In spite of a concerted global effort, scientists have yet to find an effective treatment for SARS. Antibiotic drugs don't work against viruses, and antiviral drugs haven't shown much benefit.