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WHO identifies SARS virus

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The virus causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Genetic sequencing has shown that this virus is a variant coronavirus, similar yet different from any of the three known types of coronaviruses.

Upon infecting the SARS virus into monkey cells, scientists found that the virus multiplied before deforming the monkey cells. However, when a serum from patients who had recovered from SARS was added, the monkey cells seemed to have immunity against becoming deformed. This is giving some people hope that this serum might be used to treat the disease in the future.

SARS has been quickly spreading through Asia and the rest of the world. It is thought to have originated in Southern China.

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