What is SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV)?
SARS or severe acute respiratory syndrome is a rapidly spreading and potentially fatal viral disease that appeared first time in Southern China (2002) and then spread to more than 24 countries. In March 2003, SARS was recognized as a global threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SARS- Associated Coronavirus commonly known as SARS-CoV infects both humans and animals.
How SARs-CoV Spreads?
SARS-CoV is an airborne virus and spreads among people in the same way as cold and flu. SARS can spread from an infected person to a healthy person via small droplets of saliva that are released by an infected person while coughing or sneezing. The virus can also spread via a physical contact with an infected person.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Pandemic
SARS first originated in China in 2002 and then spread quickly to other Asian countries. It was believed that mutation of a viral strain of the coronavirus (usually found in small mammals) spread it to humans. The SARS pandemic was then controlled in July 2003. During the SARS pandemic, a policy was made that the people who were suspected of having the condition should be completely isolated from rest of the population and also the passengers who had travelled from the disease affected countries should be screened if they show the symptoms. The SARS pandemic affected almost 8,098 people and resulted in almost 774 deaths.
In the year 2004, another SARS outbreak was reported in China and it was caused due to direct contact with the SARS virus sample in a medical laboratory rather than being caused due to animal to human or human to human transmission.
What are the Symptoms of SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV)?
An infection caused by the SARS-Coronavirus usually resembles the common flu and the symptoms generally appear within 2 to 7 days post-infection. Some of the common symptoms associated with the SARS infection are:
- High fever
- Extreme fatigue
- Appetite loss
- Muscle pain
- Dry cough
- Difficulty in breathing
- Severe hypoxemia (lack of oxygen in the blood) which can be even fatal
Is There Any Treatment for SARS-CoV?
Currently, there is no treatment for the SARS, however, the research is ongoing to find an effective vaccine against this deadly virus. Supportive treatment can be helpful to some extent and may include:
- Using antiviral medications
- Using steroids for reducing the lung inflammation
- Using ventilators for providing oxygen to patients with severe hypoxemia
- Using antibiotics for preventing the pneumonia infections which may be caused by this viral infection
Preventive Measures Against SARS-CoV
There is no treatment for SARS-CoV, but we can prevent the infection from spreading to others by following the below mentioned preventive measures:
- Avoid travelling to the virus affected areas of the world
- Clean your hands regularly with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, and drink with others
- Cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing
- Clean your houses and workplaces by using disinfectants
- Using gloves, face masks, and goggles while dealing with an infected person