Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Historical, Epidemiologic, and Clinical Features

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2019 Dec;33(4):869-889. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2019.07.001.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), emerged from China and rapidly spread worldwide. Over 8098 people fell ill and 774 died before the epidemic ended in July 2003. Bats are likely an important reservoir for SARS-CoV. SARS-like CoVs have been detected in horseshoe bats and civet cats. The main mode of transmission of SARS-CoV is through inhalation of respiratory droplets. Faeco-oral transmission has been recorded. Strict infection control procedures with respiratory and contact precautions are essential. Fever and respiratory symptoms predominate, and diarrhea is common. Treatment involves supportive care. There are no specific antiviral treatments or vaccines available.

Keywords: Clinical; Coronavirus; Epidemic; Epidemiology; Prevention; SARS.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / history
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology*