Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): Symptoms, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis
Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a disorder of the respiratory system which is caused by a virus called SARS coronavirus. The outbreak of this disease was first noted in China in 2003 and spread to as far as Hong Kong and other countries in 2003.
Signs and Symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
At the onset of the disease, people may suffer from flu-like symptoms and may experience other symptoms like fever, pain in the muscles, fatigue, cough, throat problems, etc. the symptoms that is common to all people who suffer from this disease is temperature above 100 degrees with ensuing shortness of breath at a later stage. To begin with the symptoms resemble that of a cold but later on take the shape of influenza.
Diagnosis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
SARS is said to be suspected in people who have any of the symptoms mentioned above and fever of 100 degrees or more. SARS may also be suspected in people with recent contact with individuals who have been diagnosed with SARS, or have a travel history in regions where there has been an outbreak of this syndrome. Above this, if a person has SARS, he or she will have changes in the chest x-ray showing pneumonia with patchy infiltrates in the x-ray.
Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
As SARS is a viral disease, antibiotics in such cases are deemed to be ineffective. To treat this disease, anti-fever medications are used along with supplementation of oxygen and in some cases ventilator is also required. An individual suffering from this disease is quarantined and kept away from others to prevent spread of the disease. Till date, there is no vaccine found for complete treatment of this disease.
Prognosis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
The prognosis from this disease is quite guarded. Reports from places with SARS outbreak and based on the reports from people who have suffered this disease, it is shown that there can be long term effects from this disease, the most common being pulmonary fibrosis, osteoporosis etc. which may lead to complete disability with resultant depression due to inability to do self care activities.