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Volume 9, Number 12—December 2003

Dispatch

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Epidemic in Asia

Guofa Zhou*Comments to Author  and Guiyun Yan*
Author affiliations: *State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA

Suggested citation for this article

Abstract

We analyzed the dynamics of cumulative severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) cases in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Beijing using the Richards model. The predicted total SARS incidence was close to the actual number of cases; the predicted cessation date was close to the lower limit of the 95% confidence interval.

As of May 15, 2003, the cumulative number of reported probable cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was >7,600 worldwide (1). In the 28 countries reporting SARS cases, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Beijing Municipality, reported most of the cases. The Beijing municipal government took various measures to prevent the spread of SARS. As in Hong Kong (2,3), measures in Beijing included wearing masks and handwashing, mandatory home quarantine of persons who had contact with probable SARS patients, suspension of schools and universities for 2 weeks, restrictions on public gatherings, screening body temperatures of air travelers, discouragement of mass migration by air or train, designation of special hospitals for the treatment of SARS patients, and education on SARS transmission and personal protection. The number of new cases reported daily in Beijing were high (e.g., 39 new cases on May 14, 2003), and public and health authorities were concerned about how extensive the SARS epidemic might be and when the SARS epidemic might be brought under control if intervention measures were continued.

The Study (details in separate file) [PDF - 27 KB - 2 pages]

Conclusions (details in separate file) [PDF - 17 KB - 1 page]

Dr. Guofa Zhou is a senior research scientist at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interest is the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases.

Dr. Guiyun Yan is an associate professor of biological sciences at SUNY Buffalo; his research focuses on the ecology and genetics of infectious diseases.

Acknowledgment

We thank three anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism.

References

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  2. Donnelly CA, Ghani AC, Leung GM, Hedley AJ, Fraser C, Riley S, Epidemiological determinants if spread of causal agent of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. Lancet. 2003;361:17616.DOIPubMed
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  9. Lipsitch M, Cohen T, Cooper B, Robins JM, Ma S, James L, Transmission dynamics and control of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Science. 2003;300:196670.DOIPubMed
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  12. World Health Organization. Update 70–Singapore removed from list of areas with local SARS transmission. [Accessed July 17, 2003] Available from: URL: http://www.who.int/entity/csr/don/2003_5_30a/en/
  13. World Health Organization. Update 86 – Hong Kong removed from list of areas with local transmission. [Accessed July 17, 2003] Available from: URL: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2003_6_23/en/
  14. World Health Organization. Update 87 – World Health Organization changes last remaining travel recommendation – for Beijing, China. [Accessed July 17, 2003] Available from: URL: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2003_6_24/en/
  15. World Health Organization. Cumulative number of reported probable cases of SARS. [Accessed July 17, 2003] Available from: URL: http://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/2003_07_09/en/

Figure

Table

Technical Appendices

Suggested citation for this article: Zhou G, Yan G. Severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in Asia. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 2003 Dec [date cited]. Available from: URL: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/9/12/03-0382.htm

DOI: 10.3201/eid0912.030382

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Table of Contents – Volume 9, Number 12—December 2003

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Guofa Zhou, Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA; fax: 716-645-2975





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