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SARS

What is SARS?
Where is SARS found?
What are the symptoms of SARS?
How is SARS spread?
How can I keep from getting SARS?
If I’ve been exposed to SARS, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
What treatments are available for SARS? How serious is the disease?
Where can I get more information on SARS?

What is SARS?
Severe acute respiratory syndrome, better known as SARS, is a viral illness caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus.   

Where is SARS found?
In 2003, a global outbreak of SARS occurred, infecting more than 8,000 people in North America, South America, Asia and Europe. The outbreak originated in Asia and 774 people lost their lives due to the illness. Only eight people in the United States were infected with the illness during the outbreak. There have been no reported cases in the world since 2004.

What are the symptoms of SARS?

Most people who become infected develop pneumonia as a result of the illness.

How is SARS spread?
SARS is spread through direct person-to-person contact, through the cough or sneeze of an infected person. It can also be spread by a person touching a surface or object that is contaminated with the virus and then touching his or hers eyes, mouth or nose. It is possible that the illness may be spread more broadly through the air.

How can I keep from getting SARS?
The most effective way to avoid getting SARS is to avoid close contact with an infected person, wash hands often and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

If I’ve been exposed to SARS, how long will it take for symptoms to develop?
The initial symptoms of SARS can occur between two and seven days after exposure.

What treatments are available for SARS? How serious is the disease?
Because of the high rate of pneumonia associated with SARS, health professionals recommend treatment similar to that given to those with severe pneumonia, which may include antibiotics, rest and fluids.

Where can I get more information on SARS?
For more information online, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or call the Health Department at 859.363.2070.

Sources: Northern Kentucky Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention