The following is extracted from a PowerPoint presentation targeted at primary school students during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Singapore. For more information, please refer to links at the bottom of the page.

SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

SARS is a new flu-like illness that first appeared in China. Since then it has spread quickly in Asia and around the world.

SARS is the abbreviation for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

SARS is an atypical pneumonia, an infection of the lung that is caused by an organism. A new coronavirus (with a crown-like appearance) is the leading suspect for the cause of SARS. The virus is believed to have originated in wild animals sold for food in the markets of southern China but it is not known how the virus jumped from animals to humans.

Symptoms of SARS

How will I know whether or not I have SARS?

A person suffering from SARS has the following symptoms or signs:

  1. Breathing difficulties

  2. High fever and chills

    • One sign of SARS is when you suddenly have a high fever of more than 38oC. Normal body temperature varies among people, but the average is 37oC.

    • A chill is a feeling of coldness. Your body may even shiver or shake slightly.

  3. Dry cough

    A cough is a sudden rush of air from the lungs to help clear irritations in our throat. A dry cough is a cough where normal mucus is the only material that is expelled.

  4. Muscle aches

    Another sign of SARS is when you feel muscle aches all over your body.

Personal Hygiene

SARS is infectious and is spread through droplets expelled from an infected person when he coughs or sneezes. We can all help stop the spread of SARS by practising good personal hygiene.

The Guardian: SARS Epidemic
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Information compiled in February 2006 by "Parenting the Next Generation"
Mad Cow Disease   |   SARS   |   Bird Flu