SARS: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Topics: Virus, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Antiviral drug Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: November 24, 2013
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is caused by a virus, not a certain type of bacteria. This virus belongs to a class of viruses called coronavirus. Since SARS was an outbreak caused by a virus that was previously unknown, scientist named the virus that causes SARS, SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). World Health Organization (WHO) physician Dr. Carlo Urbani identified SARS as a new disease in 2003 when he diagnosed a severely ill 48-year old businessman who was traveling from the Guangdong province of China. This disease was named SARS exclusively because SARS is an acronym for the description of the disease. There are a considerable amount of symptoms that can indicate a potential presence of SARS. The hallmark symptoms of SARS includes: cough, difficulty breathing, fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38.0 degrees Celsius). The most common symptoms are: the chills and shaking, cough - usually starts two to three days after other symptoms, fever, headache, muscle aches. Some of the less common symptoms include: cough that produces phlegm (sputum), diarrhea, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, runny nose, and sore throat. SARS is a disease that comes from a breed of viruses called coronavirus. These viruses target the lungs. SARS is very closely related to pneumonia. Once the virus enters into an organism, the coronavirus particles invade epithelial cells of the mucosal lining, replicate using the host cell, and ultimately release new virus particles that will invade new cells. When this happens, the cells that the virus invaded become infected, rupture, and eventually die. When these viruses reach the lungs, the lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) become inflamed and fill up with fluid and pus. This is what causes the cough, chills, fever, and other symptoms. The oxygen that an organism breathes in has trouble reaching the bloodstream. When there is too little oxygen in the blood, the body won’t be able to function properly. Along with the shortage of oxygen...
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