SARS Vs COVID-19
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in China has brought back the memories of the SARS outbreak that occurred in the year 2003. The World Health Organization has declared the spread of the Wuhan virus as a public health emergency, and countries are taking proactive measures to limit the entry or the spread of the pathogen on their land.
Many people are comparing the Wuhan virus outbreak with the SARS outbreak, as both the diseases started spreading from China. The current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has surpassed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in the number of cases and deaths from the disease.
Many pharmaceutical giants are working speedily to develop an effective vaccine for the COVID-19, and some of them are looking back at SARS for key learnings. Let’s discuss the two outbreaks together to know about the key differences between the diseases and how they are being handled.
SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003. The epidemic went on to affect 26 countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before it was stopped in July 2003. The SARS coronavirus, known as SARS COV was the causal organism behind the diseases. The SARS outbreak was the first deadly epidemic caused by a coronavirus. It led to a highly contagious and life-threatening form of pneumonia.
The first case of SARS was then tracked back to late 2002 in the Guangdong province in southern China. During the SARS outbreak, there were 8098 reported cases and 774 deaths. There were 238 cases of SARS in Singapore, which resulted in 33 deaths. This translates into a mortality rate of 10 percent. People over the age of 65 were more vulnerable to the disease at risk, with over half of those who died from the infection being in this age group.
The symptoms of SARS are similar to those that occur in COVID-19 infection. At present, there is no cure for SARS. However, since 2004, there have been no known SARS cases.
The COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a new coronavirus that has not been observed before. It is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The recent outbreak of Coronaviruses has originated in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in China. As compared to SARS, the COVID-19 is more contagious. A person can spread the infection to another person, even before he or she begins to display symptoms.
The total number of people infected with the Wuhan Virus stands at 11,977 in China. The death toll for COVID-19 has crossed in 2000 In Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, two percent of the cases resulted in deaths, while the figure has been less than one percent in other places. The mortality rate is quite low as compared to that of SARS.
COVID-19 vs SARS- The Key Difference
The COVID-19 and the SARS virus share 70 percent of their DNA, you can call them cousins. However, the SARS virus replicated deep in people’s lungs, hence contributing to the higher mortality rate. But this also made it less likely to spread than the COVID-19 virus. People with SARS weren’t contagious until they were very ill.
But that isn’t the case for COVID-19, so it is difficult to isolate and quarantine people before they infect others. The new coronavirus grows in people’s noses and airways, so spreads easily through coughing and sneezing.
Hence, we would strongly suggest you to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Timely diagnosis can not only help in your speedy recovery, it would also save those around you from getting infected.