Analysis of Deaths during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Epidemic in Singapore: Challenges in Determining a SARS Diagnosis
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
It is unfortunate that the term atypical pneumonia has been used in conjunction with SARS. Although nonspecific by itself, the term does not accurately reflect the underlying dangers of viral pneumonia, which may progress rapidly to acute respiratory distress syndrome. We observed that the clinical spectrum of disease as seen in our autopsy series included sudden deaths. This is a worrisome finding that illustrates that viral diseases will have a spectrum of clinical presentations and that the diagnoses made for such patients must incorporate laboratory as well as clinical data.