News & Analysis

A Decade After SARS, China's Flu Response Wins Cautious Praise

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Science  12 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6129, pp. 130
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6129.130

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Coming at the 10-year anniversary of the SARS outbreak, the Chinese government's announcement that a new influenza virus is killing people elicited suspicion from many Chinese. Why, some asked, did it take nearly 6 weeks after the first patient fell ill for the government to identify the H7N9 virus? But many scientists say that, while there are plenty of questions surrounding the new virus, China has actually come a long way when it comes to monitoring health and has been forthcoming with the international health community—a sharp contrast with the SARS episode, when it was unable to identify the new pathogen and tried to sweep a deadly epidemic under the rug.

  • * With reporting by Jon Cohen.