Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (cont.)
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Currently, no specific treatment exists for SARS, although various treatments have been tried with unclear success. Specialists in infectious diseases and pulmonary care and others should be involved with the care of SARS patients. Medical treatments that have been tried include corticosteroids, antiviral agents, interferon, and various antibody preparations, nitric oxide, and a traditional Chinese medication termed glycyrrhizin (a compound found in licorice roots). Most of these treatments have not been studied enough to prove effectiveness. Most hospitalized patients require supportive care such as supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
People with confirmed or suspected SARS should be isolated and undergo aggressive treatment in a hospital. Mechanical ventilation (a device that assists in a person's breathing) and critical care may be necessary because of respiratory distress.