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SARS - Referat

(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

It is an atypical form of pneumonia, which is firs appeared in November 2002 in Guangdong Province, China. After the People’s Republic of China suppressed news of the outbreak both internally and abroad, the disease spread rapidly. It reached Hong Kong and Vietnam in late February 2003, and was brought to other countries via international travellers. The last case in this outbreak occured in June 2003. In the outbreak, SARS caused 8.069 cases of disease and 775 deaths. There have also been speculations that SARS is a man-made disease.
The epidemic broke out in November 2003 in China, but the Peoples Republic did not inform the World Health Organisation until February 2003, to preserve face and public confidence. In March, the WHO issued a global alert, because the virus had spread all over the world due to travellers.
In April, the WHO announced that it was generally agreed that a newly identified coronavirus is the major causative agent of SARS. On 16th April was clear that this coronavirus was the causative agent, tested by various laboratories around the globe.
In late May 2003, studies from samples of wild animals, so called civets, sold as food in the local market in China found that the SARS coronavirus could be isolated from these cats. This suggest that the SARS virus crossed the species barrier from civet cats.
A total ban on eating them is very unlikely to succeed because it is a 5000 years old Chinese tradition to eat wild animals.
It was only possible to ban the sale of this species on markets.
The virus in the animals was a bit different to the one that caused SARS, so the coronavirus might had undergone a mutation while it was still in the cats through which the disease was more likely to be transmitted to humans.

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