Hong Ru (Nanyang Technological University) - Combating COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of SARS Imprint
Co-authors: Endong Yang (University of Macau) and Kunru Zou (Nanyang Technological University
This paper documents a strong delayed response to COVID-19 caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, in countries that do not suffer from 2003 SARS disease caused by a similar virus, SARS-CoV-1. Individuals in countries that suffered from SARS in 2003 search more intensively for COVID-19 related information in Google during its first outbreak in Wuhan China in late January 2020. Governments in countries without SARS deaths respond significantly slower to combat COVID-19 regarding various containment measures. Consequently, COVID-19 case numbers and mortalities are substantially higher in countries without SARS experience. Our findings suggest that the imprint of the early experience of similar viruses is a fundamental mechanism underlying timely responses to COVID-19.
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