Had the nightmare returned? That’s the question many were asking in the first 10 days of this year, after a new form of pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, a megacity in central China. The outbreak revived memories of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the disease that emerged in China in 2002 and sickened 8098 people in 37 countries before it was quashed in the summer of 2003. Like SARS, the Wuhan pneumonia cases were linked to a market selling myriad species of live animals, and they appear to be caused by a new member of the coronavirus family closely related to the SARS virus. And once again, China appeared to be less than forthcoming with information.

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