SARS-The Commonly Uncommon Cold
Acute respiratory illnesses are among the most common infectious diseases known to humans as they account for nearly half of all diseases that plague our species. Of these respiratory illnesses, viruses are the cause in 50-75% of reported cases. The Corona Virus known as SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is one of the most recently highly publicized respiratory illness that has drawn a surge of research since the first reported cases of the virus in Southern China in 2002. This publicity was due to the disease’s possible complications, which can lead to the death of the host organism. Even the discoverer of the disease, Dr. Carlo Ubani of the World Health Organization unfortunately died shortly after catching the disease on March 29, 2003 (MedlinePlus: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). However, not much useful results from this research have surfaced because of the still infant stage of research that this disease is in (Fauci et al.,2008). Since that first reported case, SARS spread rapidly, by tearing through the continents quickly becoming a true pandemic. From its beginning in Asia, it moved to Europe and jumped the Pacific Ocean making its way to North America. Scientists have pinpointed the origin of the disease somewhere in the area of Guangdong, China. From there the virus has thus far affected approximately 8000 individuals and about 770 of those reported cases have resulted in death (Brooks et al., 2007). The effects on world economy have never been as severe as when SARS first broke out. After the first outbreak, many study abroad programs were cancelled to China and other affected Asian countries, leading to large monetary losses to those host countries. The appearance of the virus under magnified projection gives it its family name Corona Viridae as the virus has a crown-like appearance (corona) consisting of pointed projections on the envelope surface. These projections are actually made up of...
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