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SARS virus was created in weapons lab: Russian scientist
rediff.com News Desk |
April 11, 2003 16:57 IST
The virus of atypical pneumonia, better known as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, was created artificially, possibly as a bacteriological weapon, Sergei Kolesnikov, academician of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, told a press conference in the Siberian town of Irkutsk on Thursday, the Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported.
According to Kolesnikov, the virus of atypical pneumonia is a synthesis of the viruses of measles and infectious parotiditis or mumps, the natural compound of which is impossible. This can be done only in a laboratory, he said.
Kolesnikov added that in creating bacteriological weapons, a protective anti-viral vaccine is, as a rule, worked out at the same time, so a medicine for atypical pneumonia may soon appear.
He did not, however, rule out the possibility that the virus could have spread accidentally as a result of "an unsanctioned leakage" from a biological weapons laboratory.
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