COVID-19 has changed our lives as we know it, however, it is not the first SARS coronavirus to have caused havoc and panic across the world.
In the first month of 2003, a large number of people in South China were infected by a novel virus called SARS. At first medical experts were not aware and failed to identify what kind of human affecting virus this was, as this was the first SARS virus of its kind to have such a large negative impact. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-COVI-1) is identified as a novel virus that is spread through person to person transmission, through minute respiratory droplets that travel from one infected person to another. The virus is also transmitted by the minute respiratory droplets falling to surfaces which a non-infected person may come into contact with.
SARS-COVI-1 falls under one of thirty-six coronaviruses which have been discovered and scientifically studied throughout the years. SARS-COVI-1 was considered even more severe than any other of the coronaviruses as it primarily targets the respiratory area of the body, specifically the lungs. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified SARS as influenza. Influenza is an illness which leads to severe respiratory inadequacy. When it first appeared in Southern China, it was difficult to identify due to the fact that it has the same signs and symptoms as the common cold and flu. This caused people to be lackadaisical, taking it casually and not being aware or concerned of its high risks.
Due to the reason that the virus can be transmitted between people through normal day to day activities such as talking, handshaking, and hugging, the infection rate rapidly exploded, and this caused people to travel to other nearby cities. This travel inherently further transmitted the virus, increasing the infection rate. SARS-COVI-1 has similar symptoms as COVID-19, such as a fever, dry cough, tiredness, diarrhea, headache, loss of taste or smell, and also severe symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain or pressure on the chest.
Like the COVID-19, it is suspected that SARS-COVI-1 originated from the eating of bush meat, specifically, the civet cat. The civet cat in question was also suspected to have eaten a bat. Since the recent outbreak of COVID-19, there has now been a warning issued in China on the wet market trades and the eating of wild animals.
Over ten thousand people contracted the SARS virus in a window of fifteen months and about one thousand people lost their lives. Compared to COVID-19, the SARS-COVI-1 epidemic was not as devastating. The SARS virus was successfully contained by the end of November 2004. No new cases were identified since that time and it indicated that the virus can be contained if acted upon with caution, unity, and professionalism.
It's no wonder people have begun asking the question, where to buy n95 masks?