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Volume 10, Number 2—February 2004
THEME ISSUE
2004 SARS Edition

SARS Epidemiology

Multiple Contact Dates and SARS Incubation Periods

Martin I. Meltzer*Comments to Author 
Author affiliation: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Table

Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and possible incubation periods

Patient source and no.a Possible incubation period of SARS in days
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Canada 1

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12






Canada 2
1
2
3
4














Canada 3
1


4














Canada 4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11







Canada 5
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14




Canada 7


3






10








Canada 8b


3















Canada 10
1
2
3
4
5
6












Hong Kong 2

2
















Hong Kong 3

2
















Hong Kong 4





6












Hong Kong 5

2
















Hong Kong 6
1
2
3
4
5
6












Hong Kong 7




5
6
7
8
9
10
11







Hong Kong 8




5
6
7
8
9
10
11







Hong Kong 9
1
2
3
4
5













Hong Kong 10

2
3
4
5
6
7











USA 1





6






13
14
15
16
17
18
USA 2 7 8 9 10 11 12

aPatient source: Canada refers to patients reported in reference 6, Hong Kong to patients reported in reference 7, and USA to patients whose incubation periods were extracted from an unpublished database held at CDC. I used the same patient numbers as used in the published reports.
bPatient 9 from the Canadian database (6) was excluded because the possible incubation period was reported as < 29 days. However, even with n = 20, adding patient Canada 9 would mean that possible incubation periods between 19 and 29 days would each have very low frequencies (i.e., <0.01).

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