Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a type of disease that is caused by a virus and leads to respiratory problems. SARS is spread through contact with an infected person. There is no cure for this condition, but there are different types of SARS treatments to relieve symptoms and prevent spreading. These treatments include antibiotic therapy, antiviral treatment, assisted ventilation, and immunomodulatory therapy.
Antibiotic therapy is one of the different types of SARS treatments. They are used to treat infections that occur as a result of the SARS virus. In many cases, the respiratory complications of the virus can lead to secondary exposure of bacteria and cause infections, such as bacterial pneumonia and other similar complications. Treatment and prevention are achieved with broad spectrum antibiotic therapy.
A second category of SARS treatments is antiviral medications. Antiviral agents, protease inhibitors, and human interferon have all been used to minimize the effects of the SARS virus. These treatments are generally used to treat other conditions caused by different viral invasions, but can also be prescribed in conjunction with other medications, such as corticosteroids, for treatment or prevention.
Research has shown that acute infections caused by the SARS virus result in a release of cytokines that cause symptoms such as fever and difficulty breathing. A third category of SARS treatments, immunomodulatory therapy, aims to reduce the frequency of the body’s natural responses to the cytokines. Corticosteroids are commonly prescribed for this purpose. These medications are often prescribed in conjunction with other treatments, especially when a large immune system response has been detected.
Assisted ventilation, the final category in the different types of SARS treatments, is a treatment used when a patient with SARS exhibits signs of acute respiratory distress. Low oxygen levels are a common symptom of SARS, and some patients require breathing assistance on a temporary emergency basis. Other patients suffer from damage and require regular oxygen, which utilizes non-invasive portable breathing assistance.
Preventing the spread of the SARS virus is an important responsibility for those who have become infected. The virus can be spread through a cough or sneeze and by touching something an infected person has been in contact with. People with SARS are infectious while they are experiencing symptoms and can pass the virus at any point during this time. Hands should be washed regularly, even while not experiencing symptoms. During infection, surfaces should be sanitized often as well.