A World Health Organisation official who identified the outbreak of a killer respiratory illness, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, has died from the disease.
A World Health Organisation official who identified the outbreak of a killer respiratory illness, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, has died from the disease.”Dr Carlo Urbani, an expert on communicable diseases, died today of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” spokesperson from the World Health Organisation said. The 46-year-old Italian “was the first World Health Organisation officer to identify the outbreak of this new disease, in an American businessman who had been admitted to a hospital in Hanoi”, it added. “Because of his early detection of SARS, global surveillance was heightened and many new cases have been identified and isolated before they infected hospital staff.” The WHO today put the number of deaths from SARS worldwide at 53, with 1,485 people infected. Urbani first saw the US businessman on February 28, two days after the patient had been admitted to a Hanoi hospital, WHO Communication Officer Dick Thompson said. WHO colleagues have paid tribute to the married father-of-three, who had worked for the WHO since 1998. “Carlo was the one who very quickly saw that this was something very strange,” the WHO’s representative in Vietnam, Pascale Brudon, said. “When people became very concerned in the hospital, he was there every day, collecting samples, talking to the staff and strengthening infection control procedures,” he added.(Source: News.com.au)