SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It is a very serious and potentially deadly virus often mistaken for a bad cold. It can become lethal very quickly. Patients suffering from SARS may need intensive care hospitalization. There was never a human to human spread of the virus, until now.
The virus has mutated to be transmittable between people. Yes, this “SARS-like” virus has become airborne. It is believed that the first people infected actually contracted the virus from the Middle East and brought it back to the United States infecting others who were unfortunate enough to be in their paths. The Center for Disease Control has yet to have determined the cause of the human to human infections.
If you have a fever that peaks to 104 degrees or more, discomfort, headache or body aches then you may have SARS. Some also complain of respiratory issues with the onset of SARS. A small portion of patients could experience diarrhea. In most instances the virus leads to pneumonia after a dry cough that sets in from 2 to 7 days into the illness.
It is now known that SARS can be spread through human contact. A sneeze can affect people up to 3 feet away. It can also be spread after you touch a surface that the infected individual has touched. It is now an airborne virus, so catching SARS can be as simple as inhaling in the presence of someone who is infected with the virus.
Some people have started wearing medical masks, carrying hand sanitizers and Clorox wipes to avoid becoming infected with this illness. Still, for school children and people who work in the public only limited precautions can be taken. It is important that if you experience the above symptoms you seek immediate medical attention. This is both for your well-being and to avoid spreading the illness to others.
This is not the SARS virus we all are familiar with. It is far more deadly, and it spreads much more easily. It is sweeping the globe at an alarming rate. Sissy Horn is over the Women and Children’s Hospital in Lake Charles. She is trying to get her hospital ready. SARS has not reached Louisiana yet, but at the alarming rate that it is spreading people need to be on the lookout for any severe cold like symptoms and do not take any chances.
Stopping the virus from spreading to others can only be done through awareness of what this new virus actually is and early detection off the illness. Medical professionals in Alexandria say that though no cases have been reported yet, they are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.