Swine Flu: Lessons from SARS

A sign on the front door Apr. 29 announces that St. Francis Preparatory School in New York City will be closed following reports of swine flu among its students. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Narayanan Viswanathan knows firsthand not to underestimate the economic impact of a potential pandemic such as the swine flu outbreak that has been spreading from Mexico. Viswanathan was in Taiwan as manager of a software development project for carmaker China Motor in spring 2003 when word first spread that an outbreak of a deadly, unknown virus dubbed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was striking victims in East Asia.

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