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What are the Typical SARS Symptoms?

Article Details
  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is a respiratory illness caused by a viral infection. Common SARS symptoms include the development of a high fever, headache, muscle pain, and diarrhea. A dry cough, chills, and difficulty breathing are also typical symptoms of this syndrome. Most patients with this condition will develop complications such as pneumonia, and low levels of oxygen in the blood may become an issue.

A high fever is often among the first symptoms that are noticed by the infected person. This fever may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, or a headache. The patient may begin to experience chills and a dry cough within a few days of infection with the virus. SARS symptoms may include diarrhea in a small percentage of people.

Respiratory distress is a typical indicator of SARS. Respiratory problems may begin with a dry cough that is sometimes accompanied by a sore throat and runny nose. The patient may develop shortness of breath or experience mild to moderate discomfort when breathing.

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Pneumonia develops as one of the most serious SARS symptoms in the majority of patients. Pneumonia is a medical condition that causes the lungs to become inflamed. Some of the more common symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain when breathing, fever, and shortness of breath. As these symptoms are similar to those already present with SARS, additional tests may be necessary in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Pneumonia treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms as well as the overall health of the patient, although hospitalization is frequently needed.

Hypoxia, or a low concentration of oxygen in the blood, is also one of the possible SARS symptoms. Some indicators of hypoxia include fatigue, rapid breathing, and a blue tint to the skin. Patients may develop personality changes, have difficulty making decisions, or execute poor judgment due to the lack of oxygen reaching the brain. Additional hypoxia symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, and a tingling sensation. Treatment for hypoxia normally includes oxygen therapy and may require a brief stay in the hospital.

SARS symptoms can be serious, so it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible symptoms begin to develop. Recovery is generally easier and more complete when the condition is diagnosed early. In many cases, severe complications can be avoided when treatment begins before the symptoms become debilitating. Any questions or concerns about SARS symptoms or treatment options should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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