SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

What is SARS?

SARS is a respiratory illness that has recently been reported in Asia, North America, and Europe.

What are the symptoms and signs of SARS?

The illness usually begins with a fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4°F [>38.0°C]). The fever is sometimes associated with chills or other symptoms, including headache, general feeling of discomfort, and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms at the outset.

After 2 to 7 days, SARS patients may develop a dry, nonproductive cough that might be accompanied by or progress to the point where insufficient oxygen is getting to the blood. In 10% to 20% of cases, patients will require mechanical ventilation.

If I were exposed to SARS, how long would it take for me to become sick?

The incubation period for SARS is typically 2-7 days; however, isolated reports have suggested an incubation period as long as 10 days. The illness usually begins with a fever (>100.4°F [>38.0°C]) (see signs and symptoms, above).

Travel Recommendations

The CDC advises that persons planning elective or non-essential travel to areas affected by the outbreak may wish to postpone their trip until further notice.


Current information about SARS can be found on the following sites:

For Stanislaus County SARS information, please call (209) 558-5678.