Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been labeled the first global epidemic of the 21st century. It is apparently caused by a previously unknown coronavirus spread by droplets of bodily fluids. It is a challenge to diagnose because its symptoms resemble those of the common flu and other respiratory diseases. The first known case of a patient with a mysterious respiratory ailment (it was termed SARS on March 15, 2003) was identified in China's southern Guangdong Province on November 16, 2002. The virus subsequently spread rather unevenly, with most cases in Southeast Asia and Canada. By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in July 2003 that SARS was contained, over 8,000 probable cases had been identified, and there were approximately 900 deaths.

Whereas the ...

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