BAM! Body and Mind
Diseases
Stalking SARS
Stalking SARS: CDC at Work


Below is a list of common questions people have about SARS and their answers.

Experts believe that SARS started in China, and they have found out that SARS is caused by a new virus from a family of viruses called coronavirus. Scientists are still working hard to figure out everything they can about the disease. The first cases of SARS were reported in February 2003.

microscope with foldersThe main way that SARS seems to spread is by close contact between people. This might include touching things or people that have the SARS virus on them and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. This can happen when someone who is sick with SARS coughs or sneezes onto themselves, other people, or nearby surfaces. SARS might also spread through the air or by other ways. Scientists are still on the case to find out!

There were a few cases of SARS in the United States, mostly in people who traveled to countries where there was SARS and picked up the virus there. A small number of other people have gotten it when they took care of, or lived with, someone who had SARS. The good news is that SARS has stopped spreading for now.

Usually when people get sick with SARS, they get a fever first (usually over 100.4°F). Sometimes they also feel chills or have headaches and body aches. Some people also have a little trouble breathing at the beginning. After two to seven days, they may get a cough that could make it hard to breathe and for their bodies to get enough oxygen.

Most cases of SARS were reported in China because that is where the disease began. People sick with SARS then traveled to other nearby countries in Asia. SARS spread to almost 30 countries, but efforts to stop the spread of the disease have worked and it’s not spreading now.

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