Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (cont.)
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The SARS virus is spread by close person-to-person contact. Transmission may occur by droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Droplet spread can occur when airborne droplets, produced by a cough or sneeze, are deposited on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes of a person up to 3 feet away. The virus can also be spread when a person touches a surface contaminated with the droplets. Oral-fecal transmission of SARS may also occur. Unprotected health care workers were at significant risk of acquiring the infection during the outbreak.
SARS virus replicates in both the lungs and gastrointestinal tract tissues. However, tissue samples show the most damage occurs in the lung alveoli where lung function is compromised producing a severe breathing disorder often termed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).