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Doctors for SARS in Doiwala, Dehradun
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious form of pneumonia. It is caused by a virus that was first identified in 2003. Infection with the SARS virus causes acute respiratory distress (severe breathing difficulty) and sometimes death.
SARS has flu-like symptoms that usually begin two to seven days after infection. In some cases, the incubation period can be up to 10 days.
The symptoms of SARS include:
a high temperature (fever) over 38C (100.4F)
fatigue (extreme tiredness)
loss of appetite
HOW IS SARS DIAGNOSED?
The health care provider may hear abnormal lung sounds while listening to the chest with a stethoscope. In most people with SARS, a chest x-ray or chest CT show pneumonia, which is typical with SARS.
Tests used to diagnose SARS might include:
• Arterial blood tests
• Blood clotting tests
• Blood chemistry tests
• Chest x-ray or chest CT scan
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• Antibody tests for SARS
• Direct isolation of the SARS virus
• Rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for SARS virus
HOW IS SARS TREATED?
People suspected of having SARS should be kept isolated in the hospital.
Treatment may include:
Antibiotics to treat bacteria that cause pneumonia
Antiviral medicines (although how well they work for SARS is unknown)
High doses of steroids to reduce swelling in the lungs (it is not known how well they work)
Oxygen, breathing support (mechanical ventilation), or chest therapy
In some serious cases, the liquid part of blood from people who have already recovered from SARS has been given as a treatment.
DID YOU KNOW?
SARS first appeared in China in November 2002. Within a few months, SARS spread worldwide, carried by unsuspecting travelers. SARS showed how quickly infection can spread in a highly mobile and interconnected world. On the other hand, concerted international cooperation allowed health experts to quickly contain the spread of the disease. There has been no known transmission of SARS anywhere in the world since 2004.