The SARS Virus
There is more than meets the eye when we refer to the SARS Virus. This article is meant to be a basic short overview of the virus.
SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and was really brought to the public's attention when an outbreak of the disease in Asia was reported. The disease which is caused by SARS coronavirus, which is actually a positive single strand RNA Virus (an RNA Virus can either be a single strand or a double strand) is part of the family of what are termed enveloped coronaviruses.
Some of the symptoms associated with SARS include the following; A dry cough, body aches, a shortness of breath and sometimes a fever. It is believed that coughing is one of the main ways that the disease can be transmitted from person to person.
Other ways that SARS may be transferred are via particles of the virus being spread through the air itself. These particles are microscopic and thus cannot be seen by the naked eye, but it is believed that when these particles, or droplets as they are also sometimes referred to, come into contact with another person through either the eyes, nose or the mouth, that infection occurs.
Another way that this disease is transmitted is by touch. An infected person can unknowingly leave their germs on a door handle, for example. Those germs that are left behind on the handle can easily be spread every time another person comes into contact with the door handle simply by touching it.
The only real treatment for this disease is supportive care which almost always requires a hospital stay where the patient will receive breathing support usually via a ventilator, and a series of different prescription medications which may include the administration of steroids, and anti virals and or specific antibiotics. Intravenous fluids will also be introduced into the patients system.
There is no real cure for the SARS virus, and so when someone is infected, the patient is treated with the focus on providing relief of the virus' symptoms, and staving off complications until the SARS has run it's course.