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Volume 10, Number 9—September 2004

Dispatch

SARS-CoV Antibody Prevalence in All Hong Kong Patient Contacts

Gabriel M. Leung*, Pui-Hong Chung†, Thomas Tsang†, Wilina Lim†, Steve K.K. Chan*, Patsy Chau*, Christl A. Donnelly‡, Azra C. Ghani‡, Christophe Fraser‡, Steven Riley‡, Neil M. Ferguson‡, Roy M. Anderson‡, Yuk-lung Law†, Tina Mok†, Tonny Ng†, Alex Fu†, Pak-Yin Leung†, J.S. Malik Peiris*, Tai-Hing Lam*, and Anthony J. Hedley*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China; †Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR, China; ‡Imperial College, London, England

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Table

Characteristics of close contacts recalled for serologic testing (N = 1,776)

Characteristic Tested for IgG against 
SARS-CoV, n = 1,068 (%) Declined antibody testing, 
n = 708 (%) p value
Age (y) < 0.001
  <10 53 (5.0) 126 (18.1)
  11–17 77 (7.2) 68 (9.7)
  18–44 515 (48.3) 278 (39.8)
  45–64 330 (30.9) 138 (19.8)
  >65 92 (8.6) 88 (12.6)
Sex 0.02
  Female 579 (54.2) 341 (48.3)
  Male 489 (45.8) 365 (51.7)
Travel history to SARS-affected areas since February, 2003a < 0.001
  Yes 523 (49.0) 268 (37.9)
  No 545 (51.0) 440 (62.1)
Relationship with SARS case 0.001
  Household family member 789 (74.4) 499 (70.5)
  Non-household family member or relative 230 (21.7) 164 (23.2)
  Friend/classmate/colleague 25 (2.4) 12 (1.7)
  Other (e.g., domestic helper) 16 (1.5) 33 (4.7)
Frequency of contact with SARS patient within 10 days of hospital admission 0.06
  Daily 666 (62.6) 405 (57.9)
  4–6 days per week 82 (7.7) 56 (8.0)
  1–3 days per week 161 (15.1) 103 (14.7)
  Very occasionally 155 (14.6) 135 (19.3)
No. of precautions adopted during SARS outbreakb 0.25
  <2 60 (6.6) 47 (8.6)
  3–4 113 (12.4) 81 (14.8)
  5–6 334 (36.7) 187 (34.1)
  7–8 402 (44.2) 234 (42.6)
No. of febrile or respiratory illness episodes since February 2003 0.02
  0 643 (61.7) 471 (68.4)
  1–2 351 (33.7) 193 (28.0)
  >3 48 (4.6) 25 (3.6)
Presence of chronic medical conditions 0.10
  Yes 270 (28.3) 149 (24.6)
  No 683 (71.7) 457 (75.4)
Self-perceived health status in previous week 0.34
  Excellent 124 (11.6) 84 (12.0)
  Very good 317 (29.7) 222 (31.8)
  Good 323 (30.3) 223 (31.9)
  Fair 279 (26.1) 152 (21.7)
  Poor 24 (2.2) 18 (2.6)

aIncludes Canada, China, Singapore, and Taiwan.
bIncludes washing hands before touching mouth, eyes, and nose; washing hands with soap; wearing face mask; using serving utensils during meals; adopting precautionary measures when touching possibly contaminated objects, washing hands after touching possibly contaminated objects; adopting home preventive measures (such as maintaining good ventilation and using bleach to clean surfaces and home appliances) against SARS; and adopting workplace preventive measures (such as maintaining good ventilation, using bleach to clean surfaces and office furniture, and not allowing staff who are sick to come to work) against SARS.

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