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The big headline of the week so far is the discovery of a new SARS virus, similar to the one in 2002 that proved so fatal. The annual influenza season discussed on the last blog differs greatly to these global pandemics. Although just another respiratory infection these strains cause significant worry because of their severity and contagious nature. There have been considerable research efforts into SARS (read them here), but there remains a strong elusive and terrifying nature to these viruses. The mechanisms developed for SARS in 2002/2003 are likely to be of little help with this virus (read more here), although the process of learning that happened is likely to help this time round. Better understanding of control could help too, although globalisation has expanded since 2002 the international spread could become more significant this time round.
This could be a real test of the rapid response of technology and modern medical knowledge, and certainly a story to follow – follow SARS on Twitter and the RSS feed here!
Influenza or 'flu' is a respiratory illness associated with infection by influenza virus. Symptoms frequently include headache, fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints. There is a wide spectrum of severity of illness ranging from min...