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

SARS Transmission

Risk Factors for SARS among Persons without Known Contact with SARS Patients, Beijing, China

Jiang Wu*, Fujie Xu†‡1, Weigong Zhou†‡1, Daniel R. Feikin†‡1, Chang-Ying Lin*, Xiong He*, Zonghan Zhu§, Wannian Liang§¶, Daniel P. Chin†, and Anne Schuchat†‡1Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Beijing Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Beijing, China; †World Health Organization–China Office, Beijing, China; ‡Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; §Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, Beijing, China; ¶Beijing Joint SARS Expert Group, Beijing, China; 1These authors served as temporary advisors to the World Health Organization–China Office SARS team

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Table 1

Selected potential risk and protective factors among cases and matched controls during the 2 weeks before the case-patient’s onset of SARS-related symptoms, Beijing, 2003a

Potential risk or protective factor for SARS % of cases with factor
N=94 % of controls with factor
N = 281 Matched OR (95% CI) b p value
Healthcare related




Visited any hospital
30
10
3.6 (2.0 to 6.5)
<0.001
Visited any fever clinicc
15
1
13.4 (3.8 to 46.7)
<0.001
Having any chronic diseased
19
7
4.1 (1.8 to 9.3)
<0.001
Community related




Visited any school or college
14
16
0.8 (0.4 to 1.6)
0.52
Visited any quarantine site
2
2
1.2 (0.2 to 6.2)
0.83
Attended any social gatheringe
7
10
0.8 (0.3 to 1.8)
0.52
Visited any movie theater, concert hall, or indoor gym
2
4
0.6 (0.1 to 2.8)
0.48
Visited any farmer’s market
23
37
0.5 (0.3 to 0.9)
0.01
Eating out




Never
62
70
Reference

Once a week
14
15
1.2 (0.6 to 2.4)
0.67
More than once a week
24
15
2.3 (1.2 to 4.5)
0.01
Riding a bus




Never
62
73
Reference

Once a week
13
7
2.3 (1.0 to 5.2)
0.04
More than once a week
25
19
1.7 (0.9 to 3.1)
0.08
Taking a taxi




Never
80
79
Reference

Once a week
7
16
0.4 (0.2 to 1.0)
0.05
More than once a week
13
4
3.2 (1.3 to 8.0)
0.01
Taking the subway




Never
88
91
Reference

Once a week
1
4
0.3 (0.0 to 2.3)
0.25
More than once a week
11
5
2.5 (1.0 to 6.6)
0.06
Home related




Did not go to work/attend school
39
40
1.0 (0.6 to 1.6)
0.90
Had a pet
12f
20
0.5 (0.2 to 1.1)
0.08
Home infested by rats or mice
10
6
1.6 (0.7 to 3.9)
0.28
Home infested by cockroaches
16
15
1.1 (0.6 to 2.0)
0.87
Behavior related




Wore a mask when going out




Never
46
27
Reference

Sometimes
27
30
0.5 (0.2 to 0.9)
0.02
Always
27
43
0.3 (0.2 to 0.6)
<0.001
Always washed hands before eating
83
89
0.6 (0.3 to 1.1)
0.11
Always washed hands after using restrooms
88
93
0.5 (0.2 to 1.2)
0.10
Always washed hands after returning home 78 90 0.3 (0.2 to 0.7) 0.003

aOR, odds ratio; CI, confidence interval; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome.
bDetermined by use of conditional logistic regression. Exposures refer to the 2 weeks before symptom onset for cases and the same 2-week period for matched controls.
cFever clinics were established for triage of patients who might have SARS to separate them from other persons being evaluated in emergency rooms or outpatient clinics.
dIncludes diabetes, cancer, immunosuppressive treatment, and other.
eA gathering of >10 persons for a party or other social event.
fPets reported by case-patients included dogs (3 cases), cats (3 cases), fish (1 case), and pigeons (1 case).

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