severe acute respiratory distress syndrome
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severe acute respiratory distress syndrome,
A highly contagious, potentially lethal viral respiratory illness first diagnosed in the People's Republic of China in November 2002, characterized by a fever of higher than 100.4°F, cough, difficulty breathing, or hypoxia. The severe variant of the syndrome is present when a person has a radiograph compatible with pneumonia or autopsy findings consistent with pneumonia. Instances of the disease without pneumonia are considered moderate infections. The disease should be strongly suspected in someone who has had close contact within the last 10 days with a person known to have or suspected of having SARS or in someone who has traveled within the last 10 days to a part of the world where SARS is currently reported. The disease is confirmed by the identification of antibody to the causative virus (SARS coronavirus) or the isolation of SARS coronavirus from the infected person.