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Med J Aust 2003; 179 (2): 114.
Published online: 21 July 2003

The global effort to understand SARS continues, with researchers in Frankfurt suggesting that a component found in liquorice roots, glycyrrhizin, may be effective in treating the condition. Glycyrrhizin was the most active of five compounds, including ribavirin, assessed for antiviral activity against clinical isolates of SARS-associated coronaviruses.1 Closer to the crisis, Hong Kong authors say WHO criteria for suspected SARS were only met by one in four cases of the disease admitted via a screening clinic early in the outbreak.2 They studied the onset of symptoms in 141 patients admitted after screening to Hong Kong's Prince of Wales Hospital; of this group, 97 patients had SARS subsequently confirmed by anti-coronavirus IgG antibody detection in saved serum samples.



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