The shadow of SARS: China learnt the hard way how to handle an epidemic

The emergence of a new virus in central China has brought back painful memories of another virulent respiratory disease that wreaked worldwide havoc and left the country's health authorities struggling to rebuild public trust.

Coronavirus particle

But global health experts say China has come a long way since 2003, when it was accused of trying to cover up a major outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a previously unknown virus believed to have emerged from the wet markets of Guangdong province, before spreading into major cities