What is SARS?



Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a newly emerged pathogen that appears to be caused by a virulent strain of a coronavirus. At this time, the mechanism of transmission is not clearly understood but most indications point to a droplet/contact transmission with a 2 to 10 day incubation period. Although there is a rapid onset and severe illness and death can occur, these serious complications have been limited to about 4% of confirmed cases.

SARS Symptoms

High fever of 38°C or greater associated with:

  • One or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle aches and headaches and:
  • Close contact, within 10 days of onset of symptoms, with a person who has been diagnosed with SARS
  • History of travel, within 10 days of onset of symptoms, to an area in which there are reported foci of transmission of SARS.

Useful Guidelines for Maintaining Health

  • Build up good body immunity. This means a proper diet, regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking
  • Keep hands clean and wash hands properly
  • Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Maintain good personal hygiene and wash hands after sneezing, coughing or cleaning the nose
  • Wash hands before touching any part of your face. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with your hands after visiting public places
  • Keep hands, pencils and pens out of your mouth
  • Do not share towels, wash cloths, sport bottles, drinks, food or eating utensils
  • Use serving utensils at meal times
  • Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation
  • Clean shared telephones and computer keyboards often
  • Use liquid soap for hand washing and disposable towel for drying hands
  • Use alcohol based hand wash if soap and water is not available
  • Consult your doctor promptly if respiratory symptoms and fever develop
  • If you are ill, do not take public transport and cover your mouth and nose when in public


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here