Dear everyone,


The real hero is Dr. Carlo Urbani born in 1956 who identified SARS but passed away on March 29, 2003.



              Tribute to Dr. Carlo Urbani, Identifier of SARS



On 29 March 2003, the World Health Organisation doctor who first identified the fast-spreading pneumonia that has killed 54 people worldwide has himself died of the disease.



'Dr Carlo Urbani, an expert on communicable diseases, died today of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome', the Geneva-based UN health agency said in a statement, using the provisional name that doctors have given to the illness.



The 46-year-old Italian, married and with three children, '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.



Dr Urbani first saw the US businessman on Feb 28, two days after he had been admitted to a hospital in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, WHO Communication Officer Dick Thompson said.



Although Urbani had worn a mask, he lacked goggles and other protective clothing. He began demanding that Hanoi hospitals stock up on protective gear and tighten up infection control procedures. ''He was frustrated at how long it was taking to teach infection-control procedures to people in hospitals,'' Thompson says. ''There were shortages of supplies, like disposable masks, gowns, gloves.''



Soon, the Vietnam-France Hospital was closed to all but infected health workers and those who cared for them. Those still on the job were joined by doctors and nurses from around the world. The threat didn't deter Urbani either.



After three weeks of round-the-clock effort, Urbani's supervisor urged him to take a few days off to attend a medical meeting in Bangkok, where he was to talk on childhood parasites. The day after he arrived, he began feeling ill -- with symptoms of the new disease.



He called his wife, Giuliana, his childhood sweetheart, now living in Hanoi with their sons, Tommaso, 17, and Luca, 8, and their 3-year-old daughter, Maddalena.



''He said 'Go back to Italy and take the children, because this will be the end for me,' '' says his longtime colleague and friend Nicoletta Dentico, Italy's director general of aid group Doctors Without Borders.



Dr Urbani, who was based in Hanoi, died in Bangkok on March 29, where he was to chair a meeting but,


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 having developed a fever was put into isolation on his arrival where he remained until his death. He was 46.



Pascale Brudon, WHO representative in Vietnam, said, ochHe was very much a doctor, his first goal was to help people.



'Carlo Urbani's death saddens us all deeply at WHO,' the UN agency's Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland said in the statement.



'His life reminds us again of our true work in public health,' she said.



Medecins Sans Frontieres-Italy  (無國界醫生) said it had lost an innovative president and said its thoughts were with Dr Urbanis family.



He was buried Wednesday, 2 April 2003, in Castelplanio, central Italy (See AP Photo, right). Dr Urbani leaves behind a wife and 3 children. The measures he helped put in place before his death appear to have doused the SARS wildfire in Vietnam.