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Medical News & Perspectives
April 17, 2013

Lessons Learned From SARS Outbreak Prompt Rapid Response to New Coronavirus

JAMA. 2013;309(15):1576-1577. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.3251

The emergence of a novel and deadly coronavirus in Saudi Arabia last fall stirred up memories of the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which emerged in Asia and quickly spread around the world. Ultimately, more than 8000 people became ill during the SARS epidemic, and about 10% of them died.

But this time around, public health authorities and researchers were primed to respond more rapidly to contain the potential threat. Public health authorities in the affected areas and international agencies have been sharing information about the outbreak with one another and the public, and researchers around the world have also been pulling together, sharing samples and other findings.