SARS transmitted via droplets

Main SARS infection routes, etiology, and control methods confirmed

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)
May 18, 2003

The virus last week confirmed as causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is transmitted almost entirely by large droplets reaching the mucous membranes of nose and lungs and not by feces or urine reaching the mouth, and the epidemic is coming under control, a meeting of SARS epidemiologists concluded Saturday (May 17) at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. But two mysteries remain to be solved in China: the reservoir and a possible alternative transmission route.

The meeting of 16 laboratories and groups concerned with SARS largely confirmed the existing paradigm of infection and control, according to a press conference. The sense of relief that the outbreak was coming under control was palpable. According to Michael Ryan, coordinator of WHO's Global Alert and Response Programme, "The control measures we designed at the beginning of the epidemic have worked, and in country after country we've been able to break...

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