Fighting SARS

June 20, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 24
Are we ready for the next infectious-disease outbreak?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

Wearing a mask to ward off the SARS virus, a man in Shanghai, China, walks past a flag hung on a shop entrance in celebration of May Day.  (AFP Photo/Liu Jin)
Wearing a mask to ward off the SARS virus, a man in Shanghai, China, walks past a flag hung on a shop entrance in celebration of May Day. (AFP Photo/Liu Jin)

Last November, a deadly, new form of pneumonia — severe acute respiratory syndrome — broke out in southern China. By the time Chinese authorities acknowledged the SARS outbreak four months later, it had spread beyond China's borders. To date, SARS has sickened thousands in 32 countries; hundreds have died. Public-health experts around the world are scrambling to eradicate the epidemic and develop vaccines to prevent future outbreaks. In the United States, critics say the outbreak is a wake-up call about underfunding of the public-health system. Meanwhile, some health experts worry that Americans may not be willing to accept quarantines and other strict measures needed to stop a SARS epidemic. They want to give the World Health Organization the power to intervene in any country that fails to take appropriate action.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Disease
Jun. 02, 2017  Pandemic Threat
Jul. 22, 2016  Mosquito-Borne Disease
Feb. 13, 2015  Emerging Infectious Diseases
Nov. 08, 2013  Lyme Disease
Jan. 06, 2012  Preventing Disease
Apr. 02, 2010  Breast Cancer
Sep. 12, 2008  Heart Health
Aug. 24, 2007  Fighting Superbugs
Jan. 13, 2006  Avian Flu Threat
Jun. 20, 2003  Fighting SARS
Apr. 05, 2002  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Mar. 09, 2001  Diabetes Epidemic
Mar. 02, 2001  Mad Cow Disease
Dec. 24, 1999  Asthma Epidemic
Aug. 05, 1983  Multiple Sclerosis
May 27, 1983  Chronic Pain: The Hidden Epidemic
Sep. 24, 1976  Influenza Control
Sep. 16, 1970  Virus Research
Mar. 14, 1956  Progress Against Polio
May 25, 1955  Degenerative Diseases
May 25, 1949  Chronic Disease
Mar. 01, 1924  The Foot and Mouth Disease
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Infectious Diseases
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific