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April 11, 2003

Dean Sommer’s Editorial on SARS Epidemic

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discussed the current SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in an editorial published April 10 edition of the Baltimore Sun. 

Dr. Sommer cites SARS as an example of the need for better preparation to identify and respond to initial cases of a potential epidemic. He urged greater investment in training of the public health work force and to provide better tools for monitoring the population's health.

“Preparation for a bioterrorist event is exactly the same as preparation for naturally occurring infectious agents,” wrote Dr. Sommer. “Until we are sufficiently prepared to identify and effectively respond to natural threats, we will never be in a position to deal effectively with those perpetrated by our fellow man.”

Dean Sommer’s Editorial in the Baltimore Sun

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or

Photographs of Alfred Sommer are available upon request.