SARS, Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus, called SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-VoV).
SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003. Over the next few months, the illness spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia before the SARS global outbreak of 2003 was contained. The main way SARS seems to spread is by close person-to-person contact. The disease can spread when droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled a short distance (generally up to 3 feet) through the air. The virus also can spread when a person touches a surface or object contaminated with the infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eye(s).