I came across this while browsing the ABC web site - - -
China confident if SARS returns
China is confident it will be able to control Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) if it returns, despite admitting that the virus remains a mystery, state media said on Tuesday.
Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu told a conference in Beijing that China had made great progress since early this year, the Xinhua news agency reported.
"We have greatly improved and strengthened our reaction system to public health emergencies," Huang said.
Despite this show of confidence, Mr Huang acknowledged that SARS remained a mystery virus in many ways.
"We still don't know where the virus comes from, neither do we have a SARS vaccine or effective medicine to cure the disease," he said, according to Xinhua.
Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organisation's China representative, also said finding a SARS vaccine was essential.
"We can't solely rely on health workers' diligence and sacrifice in defeating SARS if it broke out again," he said.
A recurrent theme at the forum was the need for increased international cooperation in the field, the agency said.
Last Update: Tuesday, December 16, 2003. 5:53pm (AEDT)