SARS e influenza, due malattie respiratorie di origine virale: Possibili scenari per quest'inverno

Translated title of the contribution: SARS and influenza, two respiratory diseases of viral origin: Possible sceneries for the present winter

L. Allegra, F. Blasi, G. Petrigni, C. Terzano, V. Valenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outbreak of SARS, appeared in november 2002 in the chinese Province of Guangdong and initially underevaluated, has successively demonstrated its alarming characteristics (especially in several Far Eastern Countries and in Canada) during the spring 2003, being declared extinct in these Countries between end of June and beginning of July 2003. In the entire world such disappearance has been hopefully linked to the extinction of the responsible pathogen (a coronavirus mutated by deletion: the most credited), with the definitive disappearance of the disease in this case. It is but also possible that the microorganism could temporarily be hidden in an animal (or human? Improbable!) "reservoir" so that it could in the future re-appear in humans. The most likely season for such possibility should be late-autumn/winterly, a season characterized by outbreaks or at least extended diffusion of diseases linked to the cold season, that in the acute cases are mostly of viral origin. It's so quite clear that, at least in the initial phase, characterized by high body temperature and initial respiratory simptomatology, SARS could be confused mainly with the most common and diffuse of such diseases, namely influenza, especially in case of ambiguous information on the subject's geographic recent travels or suspect contacts: it could lead not only to difficulties in the differential diagnosis but also to more or less justified alarm both for the patient's family and friends and for the Doctor himself or the outpatients' Hospital staff, followed by possible false orientation and inappropriate prophylactic measures. For these reasons we have considered useful the presentation of a synoptic confrontation between SARS and influenza, two diseases that, at least at the very beginning, could in some cases induce wrong interpretations as for the identification of the disease than for necessary measures to be adopted in case of suspect or probable SARS. For the two diseases we have the listed, the ones vs the others, definition, initial symptomatology and clinical features, follow-up of body temperature and main signs and symptoms, imaging of SARS and of unfrequent pneumonic complications of influenza.

Translated title of the contributionSARS and influenza, two respiratory diseases of viral origin: Possible sceneries for the present winter
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalGIMT - Giornale Italiano delle Malattie del Torace
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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