SARS: What you need to know to protect your family

What causes SARS?
Scientists at the CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. The new coronavirus is the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, however, other viruses are still under investigation as potential causes.

What is the mortality rate for SARS?
As of May 28, 2003, a total of 745 SARS-related deaths -- 8 percent of all cases of SARS -- had been reported worldwide.

Could SARS be related to terrorism?
Information currently available about SARS indicates that people who appear to be most at risk are either health-care workers taking care of sick people or family members or household contacts of those who are infected with SARS. That pattern of transmission is what would typically be expected in a contagious respiratory or flu-like illness.

Is it safe to travel?
At this time there are no travel restrictions in place that are directly related to SARS. However, a CDC travel advisory recommends that individuals who are planning nonessential travel to regions where the CDC has issued travel alerts and advisories may wish to postpone their trip until further notice. The CDC has also issued a travel alert for Singapore to recommend that U.S. travelers observe precautions to safeguard their health. On May 22, 2003, Health Canada reported a new hospital-based cluster of probable and suspect SARS cases. CDC has therefore reissued a travel alert for Toronto. Visit the Travelers' Health Website

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