By Isobel McCalman.The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak from November 2002-May 2003 resulted in 2702 cases and 435 deaths worldwide. When compared with the estimated 3-5 million cases of influenza every year, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, Sars is clearly on a very different scale. However, the fact that it was a virtually unknown strain of respiratory illness that caused such widespread disruption means it provides a use
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