sars

sars

WHO Declares SARS Contained Worldwide - 2003 | Today in History | 5 July 16

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On July 5, 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that all person-to-person transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has ceased worldwide. The United Nations (UN) health agency declared on Saturday that SARS was no longer spreading in the world's last hotspot, Taiwan - closing a chapter in a battle with the often-deadly virus that ravaged Asia and infected thousands across the globe. But as the World Health Organisation (WHO) scratched Taiwan from its list of SARS-infected areas, the group warned that the mysterious illness could make a comeback. SARS was believed to have originated in southern China, where the first known cases began appearing last November. From China, experts believe the flu-like illness jumped to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore. The highly contagious bug eventually travelled as far as South Africa and Canada, killing more than 800 people worldwide and infecting at least 84-hundred. Initially, Taiwan had great success fending off SARS. Officials grew confident that they had whipped the virus as the death tolls continued to climb in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. But in late April, the virus exploited weaknesses at Taiwanese hospitals, which failed to properly diagnose and isolate infected patients. SARS quickly spread in the capital, Taipei, and the deaths began accumulating. Taiwan eventually became the world's number 3 SARS hotspot, with a total 84 deaths and 682 infections. To get off the WHO's list, infected areas have to go 20 consecutive days without reporting a new infection. In Taiwan, the countdown began from June 15, the day the island's most recent SARS patient was isolated in a hospital. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/92a95f7e02fa8f3b2782db4603b1bbac Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork