DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness. SARS first appeared in China in November 2002. Within a few months, SARS spread worldwide, carried by unsuspecting travelers.
SARS showed how quickly infection can spread in a highly mobile and interconnected world. The SARS epidemic also demonstrated that international cooperation among health experts can effectively contain the spread of the disease. Since 2004, known instances of SARS transmission have fallen to zero worldwide.
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