Study: SARS can infiltrate brain tissue

September 15, 2005

Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a disease of the respiratory tract and now scientists say they've found SARS can also infiltrate brain tissue.

The discovery, detailed in the Oct. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online, indicates SARS can cause significant central nervous system problems.

The potentially fatal illness caused by a coronavirus was first reported in Asia in February 2003. The disease is usually transmitted by contact with coronavirus-laden droplets sprayed into the air by an infected person's coughing.

Other symptoms can include high fever, headache, body aches, and pneumonia. However, some patients also exhibit central nervous system ailments.

In the most recent study, researchers report the case of a 39-year-old physician who treated SARS patients in China during 2003 and became infected himself.

He showed the usual symptoms of SARS, but after hospitalization he developed vision problems, then progressively worse central nervous system symptoms. Subsequently a computed tomography scan indicated brain damage.

The unidentified doctor died about a month after being hospitalized and his brain tissue was examined and found to contain the SARS coronavirus.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Scientific curiosity and preparedness for emerging pathogen outbreaks

Related Stories

How mixing light with salt makes a smolt?

May 5, 2015

For decades, researchers have tried to find out what regulates changes in salmon when they transform from being freshwater to saltwater fish. Now they have come a little closer to an answer.

Hong Kong reports first case of Zika virus

August 25, 2016

Hong Kong authorities reported the city's first Zika virus infection Thursday, which they described as an imported case of the disease blamed for birth defects.

Killer disease in Cambodia stumps experts

July 8, 2012

It's not bird flu or SARS, and nor does it appear to be contagious, but little more is known about a mysterious disease that has killed dozens of Cambodian children, some within 24 hours of being hospitalised.

Recommended for you

Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

December 8, 2016

Bacterial resistance does not come just through adaptation to antibiotics, sometimes the bacteria simply go to sleep. An international team of researchers is looking at compounds that attack bacteria's ability to go dormant ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.