People who are thought to have SARS should be checked right away by a health care provider. If they are suspected of having SARS, they should be kept isolated in the hospital.
Treatment may include:
In some serious cases, the liquid part of blood from people who have already recovered from SARS has been given as a treatment.
There is no strong evidence that these treatments work well. There is evidence that the antiviral medication, ribavirin, does not work.
The death rate from SARS was 9 to 12% of those diagnosed. In people over age 65, the death rate was higher than 50%. The illness was milder in younger patients.
Many more people became sick enough to need breathing assistance. And even more people had to go to hospital intensive care units.
Public health policies have been effective at controlling outbreaks. Many nations have stopped the epidemic in their own countries. All countries must continue to be careful to keep this disease under control. Viruses in the coronavirus family are known for their ability to change (mutate) in order to spread among humans.
Call your health care provider if you or someone you have been in close contact with has SARS.
Anderson LJ. Coronaviruses. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 389.
McIntosh K, Perlman S. Coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 155.
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