Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the virus SARS-CoV-1, the first identified strain of the SARS-related coronavirus. The first known cases occurred in November 2002, and the syndrome caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. In the 2010s, Chinese scientists traced the virus through the intermediary of Asian palm civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan.
|Severe acute respiratory syndrome|
|Other names||Sudden acute respiratory syndrome|
|Electron micrograph of SARS coronavirus virion|
|Symptoms||Fever, persistent dry cough, headache, muscle pains, difficulty breathing|
|Complications||Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with other comorbidities that eventually leads to death|
|Causes||Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1)|
|Prevention||Hand washing, cough etiquette, avoiding close contact with infected persons, avoiding travel to affected areas|
|Prognosis||9.5% chance of death (all countries)|
|Frequency||8,096 cases total|
SARS was a relatively rare disease; at the end of the epidemic in June 2003, the incidence was 8,469 cases with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 11%. No cases of SARS-CoV-1 have been reported worldwide since 2004.
In December 2019, another strain of SARSr-CoV was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This strain, which is related to SARS-CoV-1, caused coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease that brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.