Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome [SARS-CoV-1]


  • SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1). Respiratory pathogen with spread by airborne droplet transmission.
    • RNA enveloped virus; note that the coronavirus causing SARS is separate from those previously reported to cause human or animal illness.
    • First reported in SE Asia in February 2003. Last known human case in China, April 2004.
    • Declared a select agent by CDC (2012, select agent is a bacterium, virus or toxin that has the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety).
  • Although coronavirus and metapneumovirus, and other bacterial and viral (influenza) pathogens have also been co-isolated from patients, SARS-CoV is considered the causative agent.
  • Animal reservoir initially thought to be the civet cat; the latest information suggests the horseshoe bat is implicated in transmitting this infection to humans.

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Last updated: December 14, 2022