State health officials are keeping a close watch on a mysterious respiratory illness that’s being called a worldwide health threat. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – or SARS – is thought to have originated in the Far East. It’s a severe illness whose main symptoms include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. Doctor Joseph Malone of the State Health Department says efforts are underway to ensure that health officials learn more about SARS. As for a treatment, Doctor Malone says it’s unlikely one will be found until more is learned about the ailment. More than a dozen suspected cases have been reported in the U.S. – none in Missouri.