Diseases Home > SARS Info
A new respiratory illness, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was first identified in humans in early 2003, after first appearing in southern China in November 2002. This potentially life-threatening infection is caused by a virus, which can be transmitted either through the air or by touching a contaminated surface.
SARS symptoms often begin with high fever, chills, body aches, and headache. However, as symptoms progress, respiratory problems may also appear. In 10 percent to 20 percent of cases, people require breathing support with mechanical ventilation.
(For more info on this condition, including other symptoms, treatment options, and prognosis, click SARS.)