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© Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. This chapter examines the key determinants of the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of directly infectious viruses in general, and of the SARS virus in particular, presenting analyses of the impact of different control interventions. The World Health Organization (WHO) responded quickly and effectively to the 2003 SARS crisis. However, there are certain aspects of the biology of the SARS and the politics of Asia that contributed greatly to the effectiveness of isolation, quarantine, and travel restrictions as modes of control. Specifically, the agent was poorly transmissible, especially before patients were symptomatic. Equally important, draconian public health measures were very effective in the Asian regions where the epidemic originated. If SARS had spread into more litigious populations, such measures might have been impossible to impose.

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Book title

SARS: A Case Study in Emerging Infections

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