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Scientists review SARS

Scientists brought together by the World Health Organization to review the epidemiologic data on SARS. Existing public health measures have been effective in containing the disease in many countries and should be worked eventually in China and Taiwan, where the disease is now concentrated. Crucial measures are taken to control the chain of person-to-person transmission of the SARS virus like detection and treatment of suspected cases as soon// as they are identified and then quarantining their contacts. Timely public information and alerts to travelers entering other such effected countries. The two-day meeting, which took place in Geneva was joined by scientists from around the world by videoconference, which was of "great hope and celebration that the measures are working," said Dr.Michael J. Ryan, an official of the health agency. "There is no evidence that animals or insects are spreading SARS,(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Nor is there any sign that infected individuals are spreading the virus before they become ill" was the openion of participants.. One participant, Dr. Margaret Chan, Hong Kong's health director, said findings from a study to be issued this coming week reinforced the importance of people seeking early medical attention. Detecting and isolating patients early in the course of their infection and quarantining their contacts has had a huge effect on slowing the spread of the outbreak, Dr. Chan said. Her department conducted the study with researchers from Imperial College in London. But Dr.Chan also said the recommended public health measures need to be kept in place at least another year in any area where transmission seemed to have stopped to be sure that the virus was not hiding somewhere, ready to strike again. An earlier study from Imperial College in London suggested that the period from exposure to the SARS virus to the onset of symptoms might be about four days longer than the
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