Cover of Learning from SARS

Learning from SARS

Preparing for the Next Disease Outbreak

Workshop Summary


; Editors: Stacey Knobler, Adel Mahmoud, Stanley Lemon, Alison Mack, Laura Sivitz, and Katherine Oberholtzer.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-10: 0-309-09154-3ISBN-10: 0-309-53034-2
Copyright © 2004, National Academy of Sciences.


The emergence of a novel human coronavirus in late 2002 alarmed populations across the globe, elicited a massive public health response, gave rise to a multinational research network, gripped the news media, wreaked political havoc in China, and struck a blow to the tourism and travel industries of several countries. By the time this coronavirus, labeled SCoV, apparently receded from human hosts in July 2003, nearly 10 percent of more than 8,000 individuals who fit the probable case definition had died of the disease now known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (World Health Organization [WHO], 2003a). Analyses of this epidemic could lead to improvements in the global community’s preparedness for and response to future global outbreaks of infectious disease.

For these reasons, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Forum on Microbial Threats convened the workshop Learning from SARS: Preparing for the Next Disease Outbreak on September 30 and October 1, 2003. Participants discussed the emergence, detection, spread, and containment of SARS; political responses to the epidemic; its economic consequences; basic research on coronaviruses; preparations for a possible reemergence of SCoV; and lessons learned from the SARS epidemic that could shape responses to future microbial threats.