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PacNet #17 – Make SARS A Security Priority

As the threat of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) continues to spread across the globe, countries are bracing themselves for worse to come. According to recent figures, SARS has already infected more than 3,000 people and killed at least 144 in at least 20 countries. With no cure in sight, medical teams have been working feverishly to contain the problem while the casualties grow. Government authorities have been deploying various strategies to cope with the silent killer. In Singapore, for example, mechanisms have been quickly set in place to prevent further spread of the disease. These include quarantine of infected patients, issuing travel advisories to SARS-affected countries, immigration checks and border controls, massive public information programs, and even closure of schools.