The key difference between coronavirus and SARS is that coronavirus is a large family of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses while SARS is a serious form of pneumonia caused by a distinct species of coronavirus named SARS-CoV.
Coronaviruses are a large family of single-stranded RNA viruses. They transmit between animals and people. They infect the respiratory system and cause illnesses ranging from common cold to serious pneumonia. SARS is a disease caused by a coronavirus species named SARS-CoV.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a large family of enveloped viruses with helical-shaped nucleocapsids. Coronaviruses cause illnesses ranging from common cold and pneumonia to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) to Covid 19. These viruses infect the respiratory tract of mammals, including humans. People of all ages are susceptible to this virus. The common symptoms of coronavirus infection are runny nose, cough, sore throat, and headache.
There are different types of coronavirus. Generally, coronavirus can be transmitted from animals to humans. When people have weakened immune systems, this virus spreads from person to person through droplets carrying the virus. Therefore, touching or shaking hands with an infected person, making contact with the objects having the virus, etc. can cause the spread of the virus. Hence, in order to prevent the spreading of this virus, it is necessary to take precautions such as wearing surgical face masks, washing your hands using soap for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding close contact with infected people.
What is SARS?
SARS or Severe acute respiratory syndrome is a serious respiratory disease that emerged in 2002 from China. It is a serious form of viral pneumonia caused by the coronavirus species named SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV is an enveloped virus containing a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. However, SARS-CoV2 is not a direct descendant of SARS-CoV.
SARS disappeared in 2004, after making more than 8000 people sick and 774 deaths. SARS-CoV infects humans, bats and certain mammals. Similar to coronavirus disease 19 (Covid 19), SARS was an outbreak of severe respiratory disease across the globe. After 2004, no SARS patients have been recorded until now. But in 2012, a new coronavirus emerged and caused Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which was an illness similar to SARS.
SARS-CoV viruses mainly use bats as their hosts. Then they are transmitted to humans from bats due to inter-species transmission. Then the virus transmitted from person to person through the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or comes into face-to-face contact with someone else. Moreover, SARS was spread by touching a surface contaminated with respiratory droplets from an infected person and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
SARS disease symptoms include fever over 100.4°F, dry cough, sore throat, breathing problems including shortness of breath, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, malaise, night sweats and chills, confusion, rash and diarrhoea.
What are the Similarities Between Coronavirus and SARS?
- SARS was a disease caused by a species of coronavirus.
- Morphologies of SARS-CoV and Coronaviruses are similar.
- They are ssRNA viruses.
- Replication strategies of coronaviruses and SARS related viruses are similar.
- Coronavirus infections and SARS show similar symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
What is the Difference Between Coronavirus and SARS?
Coronaviruses are a large family of single-stranded RNA viruses which are enveloped and helical shaped. On the other hand, SARS is a serious form of pneumonia caused by a species of coronavirus named SARS-CoV. So, this is the key difference between coronavirus and SARS. There are different types of coronaviruses and SARS is caused by a species called SARS-CoV.
Moreover, coronavirus diseases are reported every year while SARS emerged in 2002 and disappeared in 2004.
Summary – Coronavirus vs SARS
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses which are single-stranded RNA viruses. There are different types of coronaviruses. They cause illnesses ranging from common cold to severe conditions such as SARS, MERS and Covid 19. SARS is a respiratory illness reported in 2002 from China. It was a serious form of pneumonia. However, SARS disappeared in 2004 and until today, no new patients have been reported. So, this is the summary of the difference between coronavirus and SARS.
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2. Johnson, Shannon. “SARS: Symptoms, Prevention, & Treatment.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 31 Mar. 2017, .
3. “What Is a Coronavirus?” ScienceAlert, .
1. “Coronaviruses 004 lores” By Photo Credit:Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL) (Public Domain) via
2. “SARS virion” By /C.S. Goldsmith – (Public Domain) via