Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Between November 2002 and July 2003, an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused an eventual 8,096 cases and 774 deaths reported in multiple countries with the majority of cases in Hong Kong (9.6% fatality rate) according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Within weeks, SARS spread from Hong Kong to infect individuals in 37 countries in early 2003. It then was eradicated by January the following year and no cases have been reported since.
A coronavirus that may cause SARS. (transwikied from en.wikipedia.org)
Signs and symptoms of SARS Initial symptoms are flu-like and may include fever, myalgia, lethargy symptoms, cough, sore throat, and other nonspecific symptoms. The only symptom common to all patients appears to be a fever above 38 °C (100 °F). Shortness of breath may occur later. The patient has symptoms as with a cold in the first stage, but later on they resemble influenza. SARS may occasionally lead to pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
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