Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a recently recognized febrile respiratory illness that first appeared in southern China in November 2002, has since spread to several countries, and has resulted in more than 8000 cases and more than 750 deaths. The disease has been etiologically linked to a novel coronavirus that has been named the SARS-associated coronavirus. It appears to be spread primarily by large droplet transmission. There is no specific therapy, and management consists of supportive care. This article snmmarizes currently available information regarding the epidemiology, clinical features, etiologic agent, and modes of transmission of the disease, as well as infection control measures appropriate to contain SARS.
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