Monday, June 3, 2013

Public Health Lessons from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome a Decade Later

CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases

Volume 19, Number 6—June 2013


Jeffrey P. KoplanComments to Author , David Butler-Jones, Thomas Tsang, and Wang Yu
Author affiliations: Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (J.P. Koplan); Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (D. Butler-Jones); Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China (T. Tsang); Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China (W. Yu)


The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2002–2003 exacted considerable human and economic costs from countries involved. It also exposed major weaknesses in several of these countries in coping with an outbreak of a newly emerged infectious disease. In the 10 years since the outbreak, in addition to the increase in knowledge of the biology and epidemiology of this disease, a major lesson learned is the value of having a national public health institute that is prepared to control disease outbreaks and designed to coordinate a national response and assist localities in their responses.

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