Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (cont.)
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SARS Prognosis and Risk Factors
SARS can result in serious illness and medical complications that require hospitalization, intensive care treatment, and mechanical ventilation. The most recent numbers indicate that the death rate from SARS is higher than that of influenza or other common respiratory tract infections. Complications include altered lung function, polyneuropathy, and avascular necrosis.
The overall death (mortality) rate from SARS is about 10%. Age is a risk factor and plays a large role in the prognosis. Patients under 24 years of age have a mortality rate of about 1% while those over 65 years of age can have a 50% or higher mortality rate. Other risk factors include patients with chronic hepatitis B infection, hepatitis from any cause, diabetes, lymphopenia, leukocytosis, and high cytokine levels early (first week) in the SARS infection.