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SARS: What You Need To Know

Essential information about SARS

What is SARS?

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). SARS In North America, SARS has had the largest impact on Canada but it has recently been confirmed in the U.S. as well.

Symptoms of SARS:

  • high fever
  • headache 
  • body aches 
  • respiratory problems 
  • diarrhea 
  • dry cough 
  • pneumonia 

How is SARS spread?

SARS is spread from person to person via tiny respiratory droplets that are contained in coughs and sneezes (droplet spread). These droplets from a cough or sneeze are propelled up to three feet through the air and can easily be deposited on the nose or mouth of a nearby person.

SARS viruses can also be spread when you the touch respiratory droplets from another person that happen to be on an object (such as a doorknob) and then touch your mouth or nose before you have a chance to wash your hands.

How to avoid catching SARS
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
    or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. 
  • Ask people around you to cover their mouth and 
    nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze.


Following the suggestions above will help you prevent catching the SARS virus. See your doctor immediately if you notice any of the symptoms of SARS.

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