This retrospective study of silver-based therapeutics briefly reviews their history, and then explores the modern application of charged silver particles, especially as an antiviral agent. The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) suggests this is timely. Medical literature shows that a variety of viruses have been successfully treated with silver-based drugs. However, 'silver salts' and/or inferior silver preparations lack the bio-availability, active silver content and safety needed to be effective. State-of-the-art, electrolytically produced 'oligodynamic' Ag+, however, offers distinct advantages and versatility of use over older and cruder formulations. Possessing much smaller, subnanometer-sized particles, greater electrical potential and lower concentrations, it is more bio-available than other formulations. Efficacy against the SARS-related coronavirus, for example, may be enhanced when nebulized Ag+ is inhaled. This should achieve swift reduction of viral loads, especially in the early stages. Moreover, there is no known toxicity for Oligodynamic Ag+ in humans. The only known mechanism of resistance also appears to play no role notwithstanding the mutability of the coronavirus. Therefore no functional barrier to the virotoxic effects of oligodynamic Ag+ may be expected regardless of the rapidity or variety of mutations.