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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Essay


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is one of the many viral respiratory diseases that emanate from the SARs coronavirus (Hui, Memish, & Zumla 2014). The disease originated in Southern China between late 2002 and mid-2003 (Hui, Memish, & Zumla 2014). At the onset of the disease outbreak, the immediate number of death cases amounted to 774. The disease affected 8,096 people including the number of deaths reported especially in Hong Kong (Hui, Memish, & Zumla 2014). Several other countries were also affected in the region.

Spreading the virus

Earlier on, coronavirus did not have such harmful effects on humans. The SARs strain has however changed this fact since its outbreak in 2002. The most notable spread of the disease is through the air (Yu, Qiu, Tse & Wong 2014). Therefore, the disease is faster spread through coughing, sneezing, and also breathing near an infected individual (Yu et at. 2014). Spreading the virus through personal contact with an infected person can be done through hugging, kissing, sharing utensils, and drinking from the same cup, direct touch, and proximity about 3 feet away from an infected person (Wildeman, Schnittker & Turney 2012).

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Signs and symptoms

The disease is not contagious in its incubation period which lasts for about 2-7days (Yu et at. 2014). After the incubation period, in cases, the victim begins to experience a high fever. Alongside the fever, he or she experiences high temperatures and in most cases, it exceeds 38 degrees Celsius. In addition, the disease also has similar symptoms to those of the common flu. These symptoms include aches, chills as well as diarrhea (Yu et at. 2014). The victim may also experience very dry coughing and short breaths (Yu et at. 2014). Although at this point the symptoms are very mild, they further develop into more severe complications within a week. Such advanced complications include respiratory failure, heart failure as well as liver failure (Yu et at. 2014).

Test and diagnosis

There has not been a universal test that can specifically detect SARs. In fact, it is difficult to treat a patient who has been infected by SARs since there is no fast enough method to diagnose the treatment early enough. Normally, an infected person must have come into contact with a previously infected individual. Pneumonia is also a possible sign to diagnose a patient who is infected by SARs. (Cressoni et al. 2014). However, a patient is assumed to have SARs if he/she displays abnormal pneumonia.

Treatment and prevention

The treatment of SARs is similar to the treatment given for pneumonia especially the community-acquired atypical pneumonia (Franken, Ansems & Damink 2014). To prevent infections of the virus one should avoid physical contact with an infected person as well as avoiding sharing or contact of body fluids such as saliva and sweat. Basic personal hygiene is recommended in preventing the infection of SARs. This included washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your mouth, and covering your mouth while coughing.


Cressoni, M., Cadringher, P., Chiurazzi, C., Amini, M., Gallazzi, E., Marino, A., & Gattinoni, L 2014, ‘Lung in homogeneity in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome’, American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine vol. 189, no. 2, pp. 149-158.

Franken, M., Ansems, J., & Damink, B 2014, ‘Quality of medical technology for flexible endoscopes and disinfectsors’, Physica Medica: European Journal of Medical Physics vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 119-120.