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SARSA case study in emerging infections$
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Angela McLean, Robert May, John Pattison, and Robin Weiss

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568193

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568193.001.0001

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What have we learnt from SARS?

What have we learnt from SARS?

(p.112) CHAPTER 15 What have we learnt from SARS?

Robin A. Weiss

Angela R. McLean

Oxford University Press

With outbreaks of infectious disease emerging from animal sources, we have learned to expect the unexpected. We were and are expecting a new influenza A pandemic, but no one predicted the emergence of an unknown coronavirus as a deadly human pathogen. Thanks to the preparedness of the international network of influenza researchers and laboratories, the cause of SARS was rapidly identified, but there is no complacency over the global or local management of the epidemic in terms of public health logistics. The human population was lucky that only a small proportion of infected persons proved to be highly infectious to others, and that they did not become so before they felt ill. These were the features that helped to make the outbreak containable. The next outbreak of another kind of virus may well be quite different.

Keywords:   animal sources, influenza A, coronavirus, human pathogen, outbreak, virus

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