Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS has been identified as a viral illness that is characterized by fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and symptoms such as shortness of breath, headache, coughing, and malaise according to the World Health Organization.  The virus comes from a group of viruses known as corona viruses. As with other respiratory illnesses, the American Lung Association highly recommends that a doctor be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment if these symptoms are evident. Most cases continue to occur in persons in close face-to-face contact with SARS patients.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the outbreak of this illness. The primary way that SARS appears to be spread is by close person-to-person contact of respiratory secretions. It is also possible that SARS can be spread more broadly through the air or by other ways that are currently not known.

The most frequently updated information is available from the CDC at www.cdc.gov or the World Health Organization at www.who.int.