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Nat Med. 2004 Dec;10(12 Suppl):S88-97.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome.

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Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, University Pathology Building, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfualm, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was caused by a previously unrecognized animal coronavirus that exploited opportunities provided by 'wet markets' in southern China to adapt to become a virus readily transmissible between humans. Hospitals and international travel proved to be 'amplifiers' that permitted a local outbreak to achieve global dimensions. In this review we will discuss the substantial scientific progress that has been made towards understanding the virus-SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-and the disease. We will also highlight the progress that has been made towards developing vaccines and therapies The concerted and coordinated response that contained SARS is a triumph for global public health and provides a new paradigm for the detection and control of future emerging infectious disease threats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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