News / 

WHO warns of fresh SARS epidemic, urges flu vaccination push

Posted - Sep. 2, 2003 at 2:20 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

GENEVA (AFX) - The World Health Organisation has warned of a possible new epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in coming months, as winter takes hold in the northern hemisphere.

The Geneva-based WHO also called for a major worldwide vaccination campaign against flu -- whose initial symptoms are similar to those of SARS -- to make it easier to detect any new outbreak of the deadly pneumonia-like disease.

"While the human chain of SARS transmission has been interrupted, many experts are concerned that SARS might be a seasonal disease and return in the next few months, about a year after it first appeared in China," the UN health body warned in a statement.

The WHO said vaccinating against flu would not provide any direct protection against SARS, but "may reduce the number of pneumonia cases caused by influenza that might raise suspicions of SARS".

It added: "Decreasing the number of pneumonia cases, through influenza vaccination, can help in the early identification of a true SARS outbreak -- should the disease recur."

Copyright 2003 AFX News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast