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Breaches of safety regulations are probable cause of recent SARS outbreak, WHO says

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 20 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1222
  1. Jane Parry
  1. Hong Kong

    The World Health Organization has confirmed that breaches of safety procedures on at least two occasions at one of Beijing's top virology laboratories were the probable cause of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) there last month, which infected nine people, one of whom died.

    However, initial fears that the outbreak would spread as a result of the surge in travel during the “golden week” holiday at the beginning of May seem to have been unfounded.

    “Obviously golden week was a big concern, as millions of people were on the move,” said Dr Julie Hall, WHO's coordinator in China of communicable disease surveillance and response. “But once …

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