From: ProMED-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: OIE press release
Atypical pneumonia: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
The causative agent has not yet been identified. It appears to be a Paramyxovirus, a Coronavirus, or a mixture. The World Health Organization (WHO) has hypothesised that the causative virus(es) may be of animal origin, from domestic or wild animals located in Guangdong Province (in South China).
This is why the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has contacted the Chinese Veterinary Authorities to obtain information on the animal health situation in China over the past 6 months and, in particular, in Guangdong Province.[...]
Date: Fri 4 Apr 2003
From: Steve Berger
SARS - Deja vu ?
As SARS enters its fifth month, a number of questions remain unanswered. Why Asia? Why now? Why young adults? To these I would add a fourth question (Why the panic?) and an hypothesis.
Every 10 years or so, a pandemic spreads out from China and surrounding countries. The 'Asian flu' of 1957 claimed 98 000 lives worldwide, and the 'Hong Kong flu' of 1968 an additional 45 000 lives. Although the world community was rightly concerned, I do not recall a collapse of air travel, imposition of quarantine, or daily front-page headlines. To date, SARS has claimed 79 lives, and the etiological agent appears to be far less contagious than Influenza A virus.
A few quotes from the proMED-mail, which is a good list to follow for on-the-ground updates from the global medical community.
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