Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

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SARS Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral disease. Its cause is the coronavirus, and it has been a pandemic infection in the past (Thiel, 2007). While SARS has not been completely eradicated, the last confirmed infection was in 2004 and was laboratory induced (Thiel, 2007). The last confirmed, naturally-occurring case was in 2003 at the end of an outbreak (Smith, 2006; Blendon, 2003). There were few SARS-related deaths in the United States, but there were numerous infections. All of those people acquired the disease from traveling abroad, and it did not spread widely as the US population feared it might. The majority of SARS cases were in China, which caused some Asian-Americans in the US to feel stigmatized (Thiel, 2007). The following picture shows the cases and deaths by country: INCLUDEPICTURE "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/33/Sars_Cases_and_Deaths.pdf/page1-776px-Sars_Cases_and_Deaths.pdf.jpg" * MERGEFORMATINET Source: Pauline Strickland (2012). World Health Organization (WHO). The symptoms of SARS are very similar to a cold or the flu, although shortness of breath can occur in some people if the disease becomes more established (Thiel, 2007). The vast majority of people recover on their own. Diagnosis is made based on symptoms as well as travel to regions where SARS was seen and/or contact with someone who had SARS within 10 days of the onset of symptoms (Smith, 2006). Treatment of SARS includes isolation so as not to
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