Possible genetic breakthrough as SARS continues to spread
- By: Sanjit Bagchi
As Student BMJ went to press, scientists in the United States were claiming to have identified the genetic sequence of the virus responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The World Health Organization said 58 people have died in China, 33 in Hong Kong, 10 in Canada, and nine in Singapore. These areas, along with Hanoi, have been designated the “hot zones,” but suspected or confirmed cases have been reported from other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, India, and Pakistan.
SARS was first identified in China as an atypical pneumonia on 15 February 2003. But according to the Japan Times, the first case of SARS occurred on 16 November 2002 at Foshan, a village in Guangdong province in south east China. From there it came to Guangzhou in January, transmitted by a shrimp salesman who was treated for pneumonia-like symptoms