UCLA International Institute
Asia Institute

Advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research on Asia worldwide


SARS and Asia: Public Health, Political, Social, and Economic Implications
The corona virus believed responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Insert: Soldier sprays disinfectant at newly constructed SARS hospital in China's Xiaotangshan.

SARS and Asia: Public Health, Political, Social, and Economic Implications

Having taken the lives and livelihoods of many, SARS reminds the rest of us of how interconnected our lives and economies have become. This Asia Institute-sponsored symposium helped many learn more about SARS and how it is affecting Asia -- and us.

"SARS has been our country's 9/11. It has forced us to pay attention to the real meaning of globalization." --- Xu Zhiyuan, Chinese journalist


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Among the media outlets covering the symposium were the Daily Bruin, the China Press, and Sing Tao Daily. The Daily Bruin frontpage story is available on their website. Click here to read Nancy Xu's reports in the China Press (.pdf file in Chinese) and click here to read Geoff Chin's Sing Tao story (.pdf in Chinese).
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Hundreds are dead. Thousands are hospitalized. Thousands more are quarantined. The economic impact has been dramatic. China alone will have 1.5% shaved off of its economic growth rate this year. The SARS outbreak has focused attention on the relative strength of public health systems and governments' responsiveness and openness. This symposium, featuring a distinguished panel of public health experts with long experience working in Asia, will provide details about:

    • What is SARS and how dangerous is it?
    • Containing, Preventing, and Treating SARS
    • The SARS Political, Social, and Economic Fallout

Featured speakers:

SARS and Public Health

Roger Detels
Professor and Chair, Dept. of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health; director of the UCLA/AIDS International Training and Research Program with projects throughout East and Southeast Asia, in Vietnam at the time of the outbreak

Zuo-Feng Zhang
Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health; formerly a "barefoot doctor" in rural South China

Guoben Zhao
MD, MPH, Beijing Center for Disease Control, Beijing, China

He Na
Associate Professor, Fudan University School of Public Health, Shanghai, China

Ren Sun
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA

SARS: The Political, Social, and Economic Impact

Mary Zurbuchen
Visiting Professor and Acting Director, UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies; just back from Indonesia and Singapore

Alexandra Seno
Economics and International Affairs Correspondent, Newsweek International; based in Hong Kong

Lynda Bell
Professor, History, UC Riverside and former director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in Beijing, China; just back after four years in China

Biographies of the speakers, recommended web resources, and additional materials on SARS will soon be available here.