The Return of SARS?

From their onset in any community, infectious diseases quickly become political as well as medical crises. During the Middle Ages, the appearance of the plague in a European city was more likely to result in a pogrom against Jews, or burnings of suspected witches, than any rational public-health response. More recently, when HIV began its slow burn through the U.S., it was several years before then President Ronald Reagan even mentioned the disease publicly. The appearance of a probable new SARS case in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou late last month reminds us that the story of this disease's emergence,...

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