The funeral is being held in Italy of a World Health Organisation specialist who died from the pneumonia-like virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The funeral is being held in Italy of a World Health Organisation specialist who died from the pneumonia-like virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).Forty-six-year-old Carlo Urbani, who was based in Asia, was the first WHO doctor to identify the fatal virus and died himself in Thailand on Saturday. Dr Urbani was president of the organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres when the group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The doctor, who leaves a wife and three school-age children, is being buried at his home village of Castelpiano in central Italy. Dr Urbani could have made a comfortable, safe career in Italian hospitals, but chose instead to use his expertise to help the poor, first in Africa and later in Asia. Early suspicions Specialising in infectious diseases, he worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres and the WHO in south-east Asia, where he lived with his family. Dr Urbani realised there was something particularly new and dangerous when he treated an American businessman with SARS in Hanoi in February. Because of his early detection, global surveillance was stepped up, new cases isolated and almost certainly lives saved. Dr Urbani died in hospital in Bangkok. He is the first Italian victim of the disease. (Source: BBC Online)