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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

  • By: Carolyn Lagoe
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a contagious and sometimes fatal virus of the upper respiratory system. The first case of SARS appeared in November 2002 and the disease was identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a novel virus in early 2003. This virus is considered to be highly contagious given the speed at which it was able to spread on a global scale. The timing and international nature of this illness presented new challenges for U.S. public health officials and health communicators. This epidemic was one of the first in which multiple tools such as the news media, Web sites, and media campaigns were used collectively to disseminate information on national and international levels.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies ...

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