Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Has SARS been eradicated yet?


Back in 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was a serious global threat. Nearly 8,000 people were infected with the virus, with almost 800 deaths. The virus was exceptionally deadly and infectious, spreading all over the world in a matter of weeks. SARS originated in China, and the first reported case of SARS was a businessman who traveled from China to Vietnam. Since 2004, however, the incidence of new infections remains at zero. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the last known human case of SARS occurred in the spring of 2004 in a research lab in China. Around that time, WHO declared that the human-to-human transmission of the virus had been eradicated.

Though it has been quite some time since the original SARS outbreak, it is important to consider, that SARS can rear its ugly head once again. Even one new case of SARS can create another worldwide threat. Especially with globalization and worldwide travel, any infectious disease can easily spread around the world at very quick rates. Although SARS is at bay for the time being, it is important that people continue to take precautions to avoid future viral infections. On an everyday basis, to prevent infection, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. On a related note, maintain good hygiene and disinfect surfaces in your home and office, such as doorknobs and computer keyboards. In the event of another SARS outbreak you should limit your air travel, limit your contact with infected people, and wear disposable gloves and masks when necessary [source: Mayo Clinic].

Infectious Diseases


More to Explore