Geez, just when I was forgetting about this SARS crap, I read this. And now they are thinking with the cold coming, it could re-surface!!! always something. MANILA (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization (news - web sites) warned health specialists on Monday of a possible resurgence of the deadly SARS (news - web sites) virus and urged countries to boost surveillance. "None of us can predict what will happen later this year. Will SARS come back or not?" Director-General Lee Jong-wook told a WHO regional committee meeting in Manila. "We have to prepare on the assumption that this will come back. Our challenge now is to enhance surveillance networks that will detect and deal with SARS if it does come back," Lee said in his opening address. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome killed more than 800 people after it apparently jumped to humans from animals in southern China late last year and was then spread worldwide by travelers. It infected a total of about 8,500 people, trimmed economic growth and cost billions of dollars in lost business. Lee and other WHO officials also said governments needed to raise their guard against "old diseases" such as leprosy and stressed the need to contain the spread of AIDS (news - web sites) and tuberculosis. Philippine Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit said diseases that were making a comeback in the Western Pacific region included filariasis, a mosquito-borne disease, leprosy and rabies. "It's always possible, theoretically, for diseases to come back unless the virus itself is eliminated in the world," said Shigeru Omi, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific. Lee said there was a growing number of people urgently needing treatment for AIDS and tuberculosis. "The greatest challenge facing us now across the globe is the catastrophe of HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS," he said. "The growing epidemic of tuberculosis must be another of our key focuses." The WHO says there are 42 million people infected with HIV/AIDS globally, of which seven million are in Asia. SARS STILL OUT THERE WHO officials and other medical experts have said they are not sure if SARS, which has no known cure, was a disease confined to winter months. "We are certain that the human-to-human transmission of the virus stopped in July and it hasn't come back yet. But the virus is still out there," Peter Cordingley, WHO's head of public information in the Western Pacific region, told Reuters. "We think it's quite likely lurking in the wild animal population in southern China. There's absolutely no guarantee that it won't jump the species barrier again and come back." "We don't know anything about this virus really. We know it has a name, but we are not sure where it comes from. We don't know how it spread," Cordingley said. He said the WHO does not expect a SARS vaccines to be developed soon because the scientific work on where the virus came from and how it spread to humans was not yet complete. Researchers in Singapore said last week they had developed a test kit capable of detecting the virus in 15 minutes. Other officials said flu cases reported recently in China, Hong Kong and the Canadian city of Vancouver turned out not to be associated with SARS. The WHO suspects that SARS originated from wild animals commonly used for food in China. "We think there is good reason to suspect that this virus comes from civet cats, raccoon dogs. We don't know which animal," Cordingley said. The WHO criticized Beijing's decision last month to lift a ban imposed in May on the sale of 54 species. In a recent study conducted on about 100 animal species by a team of Chinese and U.N. zoological disease specialists, some species showed a positive result for a virus similar to the one that causes SARS.