Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is an emerging infectious disease responsible for the first pandemic of the 21st century; there have been no reported cases since 2004.
Infection control precautions are of paramount importance; transmission is usually caused by direct contact with infected individuals through respiratory droplets.
Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the test of choice for confirming diagnosis.
Treatment is mainly supportive; neither specific therapy nor a vaccine is available.
Fatality rate is about 10% and death usually occurs due to severe respiratory failure.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral pneumonia that rapidly progresses to respiratory failure. It is an emerging, potentially fatal infectious disease. A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which is not closely related to any of the previously characterised coronaviruses, was identified as the pathogen responsible for the disease. This syndrome is associated with signs and symptoms of acute lower respiratory tract illness and radiological evidence of consolidation following close contact with an infected person.
History and exam
Key diagnostic factors
- presence of risk factors
Other diagnostic factors
- chills or rigors
- watery diarrhoea
- nausea and vomiting
- sore throat
- sputum production
- chest pain
- abdominal pain
- inspiratory crackles
- bronchial breathing
- travel to affected area
- close contact with infected individuals
- laboratory work on SARS-CoV
1st investigations to order
- lactate dehydrogenase
- creatine kinase
- blood culture
- sputum culture
- nasopharyngeal virus culture
- direct immunofluorescent antibody staining
- chest x-ray
- pulse oximetry
- reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
Investigations to consider
- coagulation screen
- high-resolution CT (HRCT) of thorax
- serological testing for SARS-CoV-specific antibodies
- viral culture
- rapid immunoswab assay for SARS-CoV detection
- monoclonal antibodies
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
- Community-acquired pneumonia
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
- No. 225-Management guidelines for obstetric patients and neonates born to mothers with suspected or probable severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
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