Sunday, May 25, 2008

SARS - five years later

I remember the 2003 SARS epidemic quite well, though I suspect many have forgotten about it. The sudden end of the epidemic, and its failure to return, astounded me in 2003. I wondered if there had been multiple less virulent but immunizing coronavirus strains co-circulating with the SARS strain. Later I wondered if synthetic pathogens could be used to fight similar epidemics, much as the oral polio vaccine spread immunity by infection.

Now Damn Interesting has provided a five year retrospective of SARS. It's excellent work, even though they could have presented some of the theories as to why the disease faded away. I hope other journalists will take some cues from DI and give us an in depth summary of what we learned from SARS, and what critical mysteries remain.

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