SARS Coronavirus

Authored by: Baochuan Lin , Anthony P. Malanoski

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) emerged in 2003 as a global health threat that causes a life-threatening infectious respiratory disease. The first SARS outbreak occurred in November 2002 in Guangdong Province, China, and the epidemic quickly spread to more than 30 countries. There were more than 8000 cases and approximately 800 deaths during the outbreak in 2002–2003. 1 Fortunately, the outbreak triggered a successful global response, and the spread of the disease was stopped at the end of June 2003 and did not reach the scale of an influenza pandemic. Before the appearance of SARS CoV, human coronaviruses, such as 229E and OC43, were relatively obscure and usually associated with a mild upper respiratory tract infection presenting symptoms of the common cold. In contrast, animal coronaviruses are responsible for a variety of severe diseases in domesticated animals. 28 The severity and sudden onset of symptoms of atypical pneumonia with dry cough and persistent high fever, which is drastically different from symptoms of the previously known human pathogenic coronaviruses, suggested that SARS CoV emerged through interspecies transmission. 1

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