Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Definition: A viral respiratory disease caused by COV (Coronavirus) is Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It is a disorder that is communicable. A serious illness that inhibits the ability to breathe is extreme acute respiratory syndrome. It is a significant viral infection of the lungs that is characterized by high fever, dry cough, and troubled breathing. The case (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) was traced to a health care worker in China in 2002. In 2003, the WHO registered about 8422 cases in more than 30 countries.

SARS Corona Virus

A positive single-stranded RNA virus belonging to a family of enveloped coronaviruses is the extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus. Its genome is approximately 29.7 kb, one of the largest among the RNA viruses. The extreme acute respiratory syndrome is similar to other coronaviruses in that the translation of two large polyproteins begins with genome expression.


  • Agent: Coronavirus
  • Host: Humans, Animals.
  • Environment: Travelling, Climate, Healthcare Services.


  • The causative agent for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a new strain of the Corona virus.
  • It is present in infected material of mouth, nose, and eyes and is present in infectious respiratory droplets.
  • Maximum virus excretion occurs for about 10 days of illness.

Host Factor

  • It occurs among health care workers, who are involved in procedures that generate aerosols.
  • It rarely occurs in infants.
  • No proof has been reported regarding the occurrence of SARS in infants if mothers were infected during pregnancy.

Environmental Factors

  • The virus can survive on plastic surfaces at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
  • It can live for a longer period in cold.
  • It is an airborne disease.
  • The virus can survive on common surfaces outside the body for hours.

Incubation Period

2 to 7 days.

 Mode of Transmission

  • SARS is spread by person-to-person contact.
  • Infected droplets.
  • Contaminated or infected fingers.
  • Infected discharges.
  • Contaminated dead objects.

Symptoms of SARS

There are many signs and symptoms which are shown below:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills (make cold)
  • Sore throat
  • Running nose
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise (uneasiness and anxiety)
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pneumonia (lung infection or inflammation)
  • Fatal respiratory illness

Laboratory Diagnosis

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that a person must have all of the following to be diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome:

  • One or more signs of disease of the lower respiratory tract: cough, breathing difficulties, shortness of breath.
  • At least 100.4°F or 38°C fever.
  • Radiographic proof to indicate a pneumonia diagnosis. No alternative diagnosis to thoroughly clarify the disease.

Prevention and Control of SARS

1. Identification of People with SARS: Current knowledge of clinical characteristics can be used to classify patients suffering from SARS. A suspected case suffers from high fever, cough, and breathing difficulties and is exposed to either a SARS patient travels to an affected area of SARS or lives in an affected area for 10 days before the onset of symptoms. A possible cause is that an X-ray, associated with pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome, has entered. In controlling the further spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, early detection of cases, suspected cases, and probable cases help.

2. Clinical Features: A serious lower respiratory tract infection, recognized in a 2003 outbreak, is Serve acute respiratory syndrome. The patient experiences influenza-like symptoms including; fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, and vagaries (sudden sensation of cold) in the 1st week of illness. No individual symptoms or clusters of symptoms have proved specific; however, the most commonly recorded is a history of fever. SARS treatment should be established and reported to the local authority to take effective action. Timely and accurate reporting helps in achieving control of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

3. Precautions

  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth.
  • Using tissues to store the secretions of respiration.
  • Wash hands after touching respiratory secretions, infected items, and products. Before touching dirty objects or dirty materials, use gloves.
  • Dispose of tissues following use in the nearest waste receptacle.
  • In addition to normal measures, healthcare professionals should practice droplet measures when evaluating a patient with signs of a respiratory infection.
  • Once the SARS suspicion index occurs, the required infection prevention measures must be triggered and required personal protective equipment (PPE) worn. These would rely on the individual facility involved and the available resources at the time. Included are:
  1. Both individuals entering the area use a mask.
  2. Usage of traditional precautions (Le. hand hygiene).
  3. Usage of long-sleeved gowns, gloves, and safety eye protection for the patient or environmental touch.
  4. Placing surgical masks over prongs of nasal oxygen.

4. Isolation: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome patients should be separated. According to the epidemiological record (2003) provided by the WHO (relating to the branch of medicine dealing with the occurrence, dissemination, and control of disease), each patient has been shown to infect an average of 3 others with a disease transmitted by direct touch. Patients should be isolated during the time during which maximum virus excretion occurs during the disease, which is estimated to be approximately 10 days per case.

5. Disinfection:

  • Use domestic detergent to clean floor and surfaces, and then use household bleach to rinse floor and services.
  • Pay attention to all sides of beds, head and foot end, bedside rails, lockers, doors, doorknobs, door handles, pull-push trolleys, taps, and sinks.
  • Use designated cleansing tools like; cloth, mops, and buckets for isolated areas.

6. Screening: Screening of the cases, suspected cases, or probable cases. The travelers should be screened to prevent the migration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome cases to other areas.

7. Treatment:

  • No uniform therapy for Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome-COV.
  • It can easily be confused with other lung-related diseases, so patients are usually provided:
  • Broad-spectrum antibiotics
  • Antiviral agents
  • Immuno-modulatory Treatment
  • Supportive treatment

(i) Broad-Spectrum antibiotic: The word board-spectrum antibiotics can refer to antibiotics acting on two major groups of bacteria, gram-positive and gram-negative, or any antibiotic acting against a wide range of bacteria that cause disease. For example; Ampicillin, Amoxicillin, Tetracyclines, Chloramphenicol, Quinolones, Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole.

(ii) Antiviral Agents like; Ribavirin, Lopinavir, Ritonavir, Remdesivir.

(iii) Corticosteroids: To treat SARS, corticosteroids have been commonly used. The key reason for their use in SARS is that early response cytokines such as; interferon-gamma (IFN-0), tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 6 (IL-6) lead to tissue injury in acute viral respiratory infections and corticosteroid therapy will suppress the disease.

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