Diseases Home > What You Need to Know About SARS

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms usually begin with a high fever, measured by a temperature greater than 100.4°F (38.0°C). Other early symptoms may include:
After two to seven days, other symptoms may occur, including:
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low oxygen levels in the blood (hypoxia)
  • Pneumonia.
In 10 percent to 20 percent of cases, patients require breathing support with mechanical ventilation.
(Click SARS Symptoms for more information.)

Making a Diagnosis

In order to make a diagnosis, your doctor will ask a number of questions, perform a physical exam, and recommend certain tests. As part of diagnosing this condition, the doctor will also rule out other causes of possible symptoms.
If your healthcare provider determines that you are at high risk, he or she will recommend certain lab tests, including:
  • PCR Test
  • Serologic testing
  • Viral Culture.


(Click Diagnosing SARS for more information.) 


Treatment Options for SARS

Once a person has become infected, there is only one cure -- time. There is currently no treatment that can kill the virus. Therefore, treatment is focused on providing relief of symptoms and complications as the body fights the virus.
Most SARS cases require hospitalization for intensive supportive care. This supportive care can include:
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Medications, including antibiotics, steroids, and/or antivirals
  • Breathing support from a ventilator
  • Prevention of secondary infections
  • Good nursing care.


(Click SARS Treatment for more information.) 


Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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