Difference between between COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Difference between COVID-19 and SARS is explained here in detail. 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1).

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the science segment of IAS Exam.

Difference between COVID-19 and SARS – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between COVID-19 and SARS

The major differences between COVID-19 and SARS are:

The Acronym COVID-19 is derived from CO – Corona, VI – Virus, D – Disease. 19 stands for 2019, the year the virus was discovered. The acronym SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
COVID – 19 is respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, belonging to the broad family of viruses known as coronaviruses. It is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA (+ssRNA) virus, with a single linear RNA segment. SARS is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV.
COVID-19 started in late 2019, and later spread across the entire globe at a rapid pace. The global SARS outbreak started from late 2002 to mid of 2003.
COVID also originated from BATS, later transferred to another intermediate animal host, and finally transferred to humans. It is believed SARS originated from BATS, and it was passed on to Civet Cat and finally transferred to humans.
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, sore throat, headache, chills, body pain, loss of smell, loss of taste. Fever is the first symptom of SARS which is accompanied by other symptoms such as cough, body pain, fatigue.
Fatality rate of COVID -19 is estimated to be around 3% – 4% and the numbers could change in the future The fatality rate of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was estimated to be 10%
COVID-19 transmission between humans can take place even before the symptoms of COVID-19 are developing or worsen in an infected person. There are no reports of SARS transmission taking place even before symptoms of SARS show up in an infected person.
One of the reasons for easier and faster transmission of COVID-19 is due to transmission of virus even before symptoms are developing or worsening in an infected person. This could be due to viral load or amount of virus appearing to be highest in the throat and nose of people with COVID-19 shortly after symptoms develop. In the case of SARS, the viral loads peaked much later in the illness.
As per research, the virus causing COVID-19 has higher binding affinity for its host cell receptor. This could be one of the reasons behind rapid transmission of COVID-19. The virus causing SARS has lower binding affinity for its host cell receptor compared to virus causing COVID-19.
COVID-19 will exist for a longer duration than SARS because, as per research about 80% of people with COVID-19 have a mild illness. It is hard to determine who is sick and who is not sick. There have been no global outbreak of SARS since 2003.
COVID-19 is easily spreading through communities. SARS more commonly spread in the healthcare settings, there was no community transmission.
Global connectivity is more hence the COVID-19 spread faster across the globe. Global connectivity in 2003 was not upto the level one can find in 2019 or 2020. 

After learning about differences between COVID-19 and SARS, visit the below given links for comprehensive understanding on Viruses and latest Government of India efforts to mitigate the problems caused by COVID-19.

Difference between COVID-19 and SARS – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

To thoroughly understand the Syllabus for Civil Services Examination, visit the given link IAS Syllabus.

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