Health & Wellness

What is Sars Disease? The Difference between Sars and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is sars disease? Nowadays no news is complete without the update on the corona. Let’s give you an insight about the coronavirus infection and measures being taken to control its spread. The word “corona” is derived from its shape as it looks like a “crown”.

Corona refers to a family of viruses that produce symptoms ranging from cold to severe form of the disease. All the SARS are genetically related such as SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19), SARS-Cov, etc, but they are all different. The full form of sars is known as severe acute respiratory syndrome.

COVID 19 Vs SARS (Coronavirus vs sars):

The corona group of viruses is known to cause respiratory illness. Coronavirus refers to a group of RNA viruses, and SARS refers to a disease (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caused by one strain of coronavirus.

Another strain of coronavirus causes MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

The Covid 19 or Wuhan coronavirus is yet another strain that causes pneumonia.

Where did SARS originate?

SARS was expected to be a strain of the virus that infects small mammals such as bats. Animals were thought to be the reservoir for the virus. Over a period of time, the virus seems to have mutilated and affected humans.

The genetic information of a virus that otherwise don’t affect human gets evolved over time and infects humans.

SARS is not only the virus that has undergone mutation; the other viruses under this category are HIV, bird flu, swine flu, etc.

The first case of human SARS coronavirus was seen in Guangdong province of Southern China. There was a pandemic outbreak in the region in 2002, which was later identified as SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

SARS 2003 was in full bloom in China which was later passed on to the other countries. There were 10% of deaths in the affected people.

In 2002–2004 SARS, the outbreak had affected 29 countries infecting about 8000 people. There were 774 SARS deaths worldwide. The 2019-20 outbreak strain is SARS-Cov-2, commonly called as COVID-19.

Symptoms of SARS:

SARS coronavirus produces flu-like symptoms that include fever, myalgia, headache, diarrhea, shivering, respiratory distress, diarrhea, etc.

The symptoms of the infection are most visible during the second week when the virus is in full swing and has a considerable number in the respiratory secretions and stools.

In the case of SARS Corona pandemics, people are advised to avoid the spread of infection through human-to-human transmission by avoiding physical contact and maintaining hygiene while coughing and sneezing.

RELATED: Coronavirus Symptoms in Humans

How SARS spreads:

SARS infection spreads similar to cold and flu. It is an airborne infection. When infected people cough or sneezes, the small droplets are exhaled in the air and when a healthy individual breaths these droplets the infection spreads.

The infected droplets can get deposited on the surface of furniture, door handles, etc. People who touch the infected surface and then mouth or nose, the infection get transmitted.

People are instructed to wash their hands frequently to avoid the spread of infection. The infectious virus gets spread through an infected person’s stool.

Washing hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer is considered as the most important precautionary measure to contain the spread of the infection.

People suffering from COVID-19 need not necessarily die, there are reports of recovery but there is no reasoning for the same.

SARS outbreak:

When was sars outbreak? Sars Coronavirus pandemics are severe as can be seen in the 2002-2004 outbreaks and also during 2019-2020 outbreaks where many people across the globe are affected resulting in deaths.

The coronavirus outbreak has impaired the global economy and it is quite challenging to control the spread of the disease.

There is no vaccine invented to contain the spread of the disease resulting in several SARS death.

Some facts between SARS and COVID-19:

  • The spread of SARS was not as aggressive as COVID-19 in the initial weeks, the transmission spreads in multiples in no time
  • The fatality rate of SARS was higher when compared to COVID-19
  • The genetics of Wuhan coronavirus are similar to snakes
  • There is no vaccine for SARS and COVID-19
  • Covid-19 affected individuals have an impaired sense of smell. There will be an unexplained sense of smell and taste i.e., anosmia and dysgeusia

ALSO READ: All you Need to Know About Coronavirus!

Difference between the new Outbreak of Coronavirus in China and SARS?

The SARS coronavirus outbreak in 2002-2003 and COVID-19 both originated from wet markets in China. These markets are meant to sell dead and live animals.

The infection caused by coronaviruses is zoonotic in nature that is the infection gets transferred from animals to humans. It is likely that both the coronavirus pandemics had produced similar pneumonia-like symptoms and people die of respiratory failure.

SARS 2003 and COVID-19 are caused by different strains of the SARS virus. The spread of infection and fatality rate seems to be higher in COVID-19

Covid-19 is a life-threatening respiratory distress syndrome and can be easily transmitted by the infected individuals, unfortunately, no SARS vaccine is developed neither for prevention nor for the treatment of COVID-19.

Sars Treatment:

Scientists are working hard to develop a cure for the same but still, no definite medicine is developed. Steroids and antiviral medicines are used to support the functioning of the lungs.

People facing breathing difficulties may be put on a ventilator to meet body oxygen demands. SARS treatment, for now, includes medicines lopinavir, ritonavir, and hydroxychloroquine.

There has been a recovery in some patients but still, there is control over the disease. Many countries have called for lock-down and people are advised to stay home to protect themselves and also to avoid the spread. There is no definite SARS treatment.

In this global crisis, all the health organization has come forward to educate the people to avoid spread and control the disease.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus Treatment

Sars Coronavirus Vaccine:

Is there a vaccine for sars coronavirus? Several scientists, multinational companies are working to understand the novel coronavirus and develop a vaccine but as per WHO the vaccine can be available only after 12 to 18 months.

WHO has announced Solidarity Trial to check the effectiveness of different medications in the control of the disease. This will be a fast track trial to urgently release it in the market.

There will be 45 countries participating in the trial. Companies such as Moderna, Novavax, and CureVac are using genetic technology to develop vaccines.

The same urgent need for vaccines was required in SARS and MERS outbreaks, once the spread of the virus was controlled there were no measures taken to develop the vaccine.

Novavax Company has previously worked on SARS and MERS outbreaks and is reworking to get the COVID-19 vaccine in this urgent need of the hour.

MERS or Middle East respiratory syndrome was caused by a strain of coronavirus that resulted in respiratory illness with a high mortality rate when compared to the previous outbreaks.

Bats were considered as the first hosts that transmitted infection to camels and eventually humans. SARS and MERS belong to the same group of viruses.

Coronavirus Death:

One might be wondering how many people did SARS kill, 2002-03 outbreak killed some 700+ people and 2019-20 pandemic is still taking a toll. The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread taking the lives of thousands across the globe.

People should follow the Government instructions and should take necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the respiratory infection.

All the countries are working in conjunction with each other to control the spread of the pandemic. Covid-19 is a type of coronavirus that causes SARS. In recent months it has caused thousands of deaths across the globe.

People suffering from coronavirus infection have a fever, headache, body ache, shortness of breath, diarrhea, etc. The infection spreads by coughing and sneezing, the droplets in the air remain viable and can affect healthy individuals.

People with a weak immune system and caretakers of the infected members are at increased risk of SARS disease. Scientists are working to develop a SARS vaccine. The current line of treatment is to improve the respiratory distress some antivirals and steroids are being used.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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