An infection that is characterized by a fever of at least 38 degrees Celsius followed by respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle aches, headaches and a sore throat. In some cases, the respiratory symptoms become severe enough that patients require oxygen support and mechanical ventilation. The disease is spread by close personal contact with an infected individual.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.