FAQs about SARS

What is SARS?

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, is a respiratory infection thought to be caused by a novel coronavirus that probably originated in southern China in November 2002. The disease is defined by:

  • fever and respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or shortness of breath, in combination with:
    • a history of exposure within the past 10 days to a SARS patient, or
    • travel to an area of significant SARS transmission.

Where can I get more general information?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a list of FAQs. Additionally, the most current information, guidelines and travel advisories can be found at the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) Web sites.

What if I have further questions?

Contact Dr. Peter Johnsen at johnsenp@princeton.edu or (609) 258-4460.

If you have had contact with a SARS patient or have been to an area affected by SARS within the past 10 days and develop fever (greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.0 degrees Celsius), respiratory symptoms or other signs of illness, contact Health Services by phone at (609) 258-3141, or (609) 258-3139 after hours, and inform them of the possible contact. Do not go out into public until you have discussed your symptoms with a clinician.