SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome


Hudson Hsieh, Writer

Hypochondriasis or Nomophobia is the fear of an illness.

SARS is one illness that, years ago, many were afraid of. SARS or, severe acute respiratory syndrome, is a viral respiratory disease part of the family  coronavirde. It is a highly contagious virus which infected 8,098 people during the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003. The first case of SARS was in early 2002 in the province of Guangzhou, China which borders Hong Kong. Over the next few months it had spread to over twelve countries.  Luckily the outbreak was contained in 2003 by the WHO (World Health Organization). Currently there are no reported case of SARS, with the last infection occurring at 2004.

Symptoms and what does SARS does to the human body:

  • First you get a dry cough
  • Then, headaches and fever
  • Lastly, trouble breathing and suffocation

The disease is hard to identify because of the symptoms are similar to other common diseases like pneumonia and influenza. The incubation period is 4-5 days, so most people do not even know that they are sick making quarantine harder. Its different than pneumonia because antibiotics  don’t work on it. This is because scientist think that since the body can’t produce antibodies to fight it, it must have adapted to humans. Meaning that this virus originally came from animals.

How did SARS spread so quickly?

The sheer speed of transmission of this disease is scary. SARS can spread by skin to skin contact, air droplets, and body fluids. Another reason SARS disease spread so quickly is due to the high population of the major city of Hong Kong. With so many people populating Hong Kong, SARS spread even more rapidly around the world.


SARS has no known cure at this time, which makes it scary to think about if it spread again. Luckily, the World Health Organization contained the disease in 2003.

If you are interested in reading more about deadly illnesses, click on the following link. The link is interesting because it lists all the dangerous diseases in order: The MicrobeScope – Infectious Diseases in Context …



SARS | About Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome | CDC

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – WHO

SARS: Symptoms, Prevention, & Treatment – Healthline