Why isn’t the current coronavirus epidemic called SARS, despite causing SARS which is an illness caused by a coronavirus but not the virus itself?

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Mudassir Ali
Mar 04, 2020 11:28 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Mar 04, 2020 11:29 AM

Because it isn’t and doesn’t.

SARS is extinct. It was not infectious enough to survive once people started using simple infection control. It was a very near miss for the human species, because SARS mortality was in the 10% to 40% range.

The new Wuhan coronavirus is more infectious but less deadly. For hospitalized cases (mostly elderly or chronically ill before infection) the mortality is in 2% to 3% range. There are an unknown number of people who have recovered from infection with no symptoms, cold symptoms, or influenza symptoms. For normally fit people it is probable that the mortality rate without any treatment is under 1%.

It’s bad, especially if it becomes a pandemic, but it’s not nearly as bad as a SARS pandemic would have been. If you want a “popular” but inaccurate name for it, “Wuhan Flu” would more appropriately describe it.

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