Brief History of the Global SARS Outbreak of 2002–03
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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was the first severe infectious disease to emerge in the twenty-first century. SARS was also a global epidemic that unfolded with an unprecedented amount of global attention. Even with the war in Iraq taking place during the early phases of the global response, SARS gained significant press and media coverage for weeks. The global community witnessed a world-wide health threat unfold and could watch and follow closely how national and international public health authorities grappled with the outbreak. The surgical mask, worn by citizens of SARS-affected areas, became a global symbol of the threat and the fear that SARS triggered.