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March 2003, the World Health Organization issued global warnings about a mysterious and deadly form of pneumonia. Here, Nature's reporters pose key questions about the outbreak, and assess our preparedness to deal with future viral threats. Below, we present Nature's coverage of this global crisis, a chronology of an epidemic. All articles here are free of charge.

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 Was the fuss overblown?
 Is the outbreak finally over?
 Are we prepared for the next viral threat?
 How and who does SARS kill?
Pattern of an epidemic
We have been warned
 Where did the SARS virus come from?
 Why China?
 Is the SARS virus mutating?
 Are drugs for SARS on the horizon?
 What about a vaccine?

Vaccine sought as bird flu infects humans

MARCH 2003
Health labs focus on mystery pneumonia

Mystery virus slow to yield its identity as patient numbers rise

Identity of mystery pneumonia bug sharpens

Portrait of a probable killer

APRIL 2003
China joins investigation of mystery pneumonia

Researchers get to grips with cause of pneumonia epidemic
Cancer conference scrapped as outbreak intensifies
Chinese authorities admit mishandling of Guangdong crisis

There are two sides to biodefence

Taiwan left isolated in fight against SARS

Infection puts the brakes on Canada's biomedical research

Deadly virus effortlessly hops species

Labs crack killer's code


MAY 2003
Apartment complex holds clues to pandemic potential of SARS

Biologists seek to head off future sources of infection

Critics slam treatment for SARS as ineffective and perhaps dangerous

US Army joins hunt for SARS drug

SARS testing: first past the post

Aetiology: Koch's postulate fulfilled for SARS virus
R. A. M. Fouchier et al.

Animal studies hint at staying power of SARS

Politics hindering SARS work

Virus detectives seek source of SARS in China's wild animals

SARS hits hard

SARS may be here to stay

SARS' Achilles' heel revealed


JUNE 2003
Pet theory comes to the fore in fight against SARS

Correspondence: SARS, a challenge from the South

China and Germany join forces over SARS

WHO issues rallying cry to keep fight against SARS on track

Liquorice may tackle SARS


SARS triggers biomedical shake-up in China

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