The deadly SARS virus epidemic is now under control according to the World Health Organisation. But they have also warned that the world must remain vigilant in the fight against SARS. Many infectious diseases are known to follow seasonal cycles, for example influenza. The current drop in the number of cases could be a seasonal fall. And health authorities across the world would need to prepare for the future.
A reliable test for SARS is crucial, as patients are most likely to infect others during the initial phase of the disease. Diagnosing the virus which causes SARS has been the major hindrance in controlling the spread of the potentially fatal disease. Laboratories in many countries are working on a variety of diagnostic tests as the World Health Organization has cautioned that the tests available so far are unreliable.
The SARS virus which has infected as many as 8000 people in the last two months is thought to have jumped from wild mammals, eaten as delicacies, to humans in China’s Guangdong province in November 2002.