Critical Care and Shock

SARS: Scourge of Western Pacific countries?


SARS was the first pandemic of the 21st century. It was postulated that contact with wild animals sold for human consumption at live markets in southern China might be responsible for the emergence of this new infectious disease in Guangdong in mid-November 2002 [1]. SARS-like virus has been detected in some animal species, including the masked palm civet cats. However, there is no conclusive evidence that civets transmit SARS-coronavirus to humans and no animal reservoir of this virus has been definitely identified [1,2].

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s data as of 31 December 2003 reported a total of 8090 probable SARS cases during the last crisis, with 96% of the patients from the countries in the Western Pacific Region [3].

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