Severe acute respiratory syndrome

Nat Med. 2004 Dec;10(12 Suppl):S88-97. doi: 10.1038/nm1143.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was caused by a previously unrecognized animal coronavirus that exploited opportunities provided by 'wet markets' in southern China to adapt to become a virus readily transmissible between humans. Hospitals and international travel proved to be 'amplifiers' that permitted a local outbreak to achieve global dimensions. In this review we will discuss the substantial scientific progress that has been made towards understanding the virus-SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-and the disease. We will also highlight the progress that has been made towards developing vaccines and therapies The concerted and coordinated response that contained SARS is a triumph for global public health and provides a new paradigm for the detection and control of future emerging infectious disease threats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Models, Biological
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Vaccination
  • Zoonoses


  • Antiviral Agents