Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

SARS is of particular concern to health care professionals due to the airborne nature of the disease. Initial symptoms appear to be flu like so physicians must be aware if you have recently traveled to a SARS infected area if you are experiencing possible symptoms.

What is SARS?

SARS is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that seems to appear in cold weather. It appears world wide but with different levels of severity and symptoms.


SARS is caused by a virus attributed to a group of virus known as coronaviruses. It can be passed from person to person through contact with a SARS patient.


Symptoms include a fever over 100.4 degrees, shortness of breath, headache, coughing and malaise.


Data from the World Heath Organization suggests that 95-96% of people suffering from SARS recover with supportive care. While there is no definitive treatment for SARS, antibiotics to treat known bacteria and antiviral agents or steroids.