SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and it is a viral respiratory illness (a severe form of pneumonia, accompanied by a fever) caused by a coronavirus, called SARS virus. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was first reported in Asia in February 2003. Over the next few months, the illness spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the SARS global outbreak of 2003 was contained. 

A small number of people with SARS can become severely ill. It is believed the illness is spread from coughing and sneezing or from direct face-to-face contact with a person who has SARS. Race or ethnic background are not factors in the development or spread of SARS.

SARS VIRUS - On April 16 2003, following the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Asia and secondary cases elsewhere in the world, the World Health Organization issued a press release stating that the corona virus identified by a number of laboratories was the official cause of SARS. The virus was officially named the SARS virus

The symptoms of SARS usually begin within ten days after direct contact with a SARS patient. They include a fever of more than 38° celsius or 100.4° fahrenheit and any of the following:
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Severe fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • A severe headache
  • Shortness of breath
Our pages are created to provide medically accurate information that is intended to complement, not replace or substitute in any way the services of your physician.  Any application of the recommendations set forth in the following pages is at the reader's discretion and sole risk. Before undergoing medical treatment, you should consult with your doctor, who can best assess your individual needs, symptoms and treatment. 
Latest Updates on SARS from the World Health Organization
SARS General Information
Special Online Collection: The SARS Epidemic
CDC Info on SARS
SARS-associated Coronavirus
McGill University SARS Resources
Health Canada - Information About SARS
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Update
SARS Fact Sheet