From SARS to COVID-19: lessons we should have learned (but we did not)


  • Luciano Rodrigo Lopes Universidade Federal de São Paulo
  • João Henrique Campos
  • Alison Felipe Alencar Chaves



Coronavirus. SARS. COVID-19. Pandemic. Brazil. Public Health.


In 2002, a severe acute respiratory (SARS) epidemic, caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV), affected a significant number of countries and was interrupted after one year, approximately. Currently, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a concern for the whole world, and the end of the pandemic does not appear near. In this article, we briefly discussed the lessons learned by the countries which fought the SARS epidemic and which had succeeded in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discussed some of the main points that resulted in failures to handle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the Brazilian context, we observed that the federal government delayed the necessary measures to be taken, has been less transparent to disclose health data, neglected the facemask usage mandates and refused the COVID-19 vaccine offerings. Despite the previous coronavirus outbreaks, we are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic because we did not learn with SARS.


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Author Biography

  • Luciano Rodrigo Lopes, Universidade Federal de São Paulo


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Bridging the gap

How to Cite

Lopes LR, Campos JH, Chaves AFA. From SARS to COVID-19: lessons we should have learned (but we did not). Evidence [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 6 [cited 2024 May 23];3:e3837. Available from: