In 2007, scientists studying coronaviruses warned: “The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV–like viruses in horseshoe bats… is a time bomb. The possibility of the re-emergence of SARS and other novel viruses… should not be ignored.”1
Few paid attention following the disappearance of SARS after the initial outbreak in 2002. Now, 18 years later, COVID-19 has emerged as the deadliest respiratory disease pandemic since 1918, when the “Spanish” influenza pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people.2 We need to understand what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again, and be better prepared to contain similar pandemics at their outsets.
Publication charges for this article were waived due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19.
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