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SARS Reference

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 19 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1402
  1. James Maskalyk, editorial fellow 2002-3 (
  1. Canadian Medical Association Journal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Eds Bernd Sebastian Kamps, Christian Hoffmann

    Flying Publisher, pp 85 Available to download for free at

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    On 6 June 2003, as has become my habit, I glanced at the World Health Organization's global epidemic curve for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). With infection control procedures finally taking hold in China, the shape of the curve was moving downwards and approximating the bell shape so cleanly described in epidemiology textbooks.

    The relative brevity of the bell for the 21st century's first major epidemic can be attributed to an aspect of 21st century medicine that had never before …

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