NPR's Joanne Silberner looks at the chronology of events in the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. It was only three weeks ago that the World Health Organization captured the world's attention by stating the illness posed a world-wide health threat. It said there had been hundreds of SARS cases in Guangdong province, and that the disease had spread to Hong Kong. Then other countries reported cases, mainly among travelers to China and their contacts. There were fears that the relatively rapid spread in China and Hong Kong might signal an epidemic, similar to the flu epidemic of 1918, which killed millions. The situation today looks less frightful, but scientists are still concerned.
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