Stephen M. Apatow
Founder, Director of Research & Development
Humanitarian Resource Institute (UN:NGO:DESA)
Humanitarian University Consortium Graduate Studies
Center for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law
Phone: 203-668-0282
Email: s.m.apatow@humanitarian.net
Internet: www.humanitarian.net

Pathobiologics International
Internet: www.pathobiologics.org

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Biodefense and Epidemiological Tracking

In contrast to the spread of West Nile Virus (West Nile Virus - Biodefense and Epidemiological Tracking: from the initial index case in New York City throughout the North American Continent during the period from 1999-2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has crossed international boundries within a matter of weeks. 

In SARS patients, neutralizing antibodies are detected 2-3 weeks after the onset of disease, and 90% of patients recover without hospitalization. In animals, reinfection with coronaviruses is common, with or without disease symptoms. The duration of shedding of SARS-CoV from respiratory secretions of SARS patients appears to be quite variable. Some animals can shed infectious coronavirus persistently from the enteric tract for weeks or months without signs of disease, transmitting infec-tious virus to neonates and other susceptible animals. (J. Clin. Invest. 111:1605–1609, 2003)

This variable could be considered significant in the context of populations (individuals) that have developed sufficient immunity following widespread exposure to SARS-CoV, the potential for reoccurrence of clinical infection and international spread of the contagion.  (SARS transmission in aircraft, N Engl J Med 2003; 349: 2416-22. 18 Dec 2003). The scope of these risks warrant special considerations for suspect cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), as outlined in the new guidelines released by the International Disease Society of America.

In The Spotlight Related News & Information Educational Materials
  • Coronavirus -  Medline: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, The National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
  • Influenza - Medline: The National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health
Communicable Disease Surveillance & Response (CSR)

Politics influences outbreak investigation. It is not unusual for health authorities in affected countries to refuse to cooperate with international disease investigations out of fear of bad publicity or adverse economic impacts such as trade embargoes or loss of  tourism. - Commentary, Biodefense Brief, March 27, 2003, Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies Clinicians' Biodefense Network

World Health Organization
Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Canadian SARS Update

U.S. Centers for Disease Control
[Additional reports and updates can be accessed through ProMED-mail <http://www.promedmail.org>. ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases <http://www.isid.org>]

Related Information:

  • Preparedness for Deliberate Epidemics:  In May 2002, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution, Global public health response to natural occurrence, accidental release or deliberate use of biological and chemical agents or radionuclear material that affect health. See resolution. The Secretariat provided a background paper, Deliberate use of biological and chemical agents to cause harm for consideration by the World Health Assembly. 
  • Pandemics: How They Start, How They Spread, and Their Potential Impact: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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