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Tuesday, 15th March
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Tuesday, 15th March
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Tuesday, 15th March
This contagious respiratory infection was first described on Feb. 26, 2003. World Health Organization (WHO) physician Dr. Carlo Urbani identified SARS as a new disease, diagnosed in a 48-year-old Chinese-American businessman who had traveled from the Guangdong province of China, through Hong Kong, to Hanoi, Vietnam. His infection has been traced back to another guest at the Metropole Hotel. Both guests fell ill and died shortly after becoming infected. Dr. Urbani subsequently died from SARS on March 29, 2003, at the age of 46.
During this time, SARS was spreading around the Pacific Rim, and within 6 weeks of its discovery, it had infected thousands of people around the world, including people in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. Schools had closed throughout Hong Kong and Singapore. National tourism economies were affected.
The WHO had identified SARS as a global health threat April 11, 2003, and issued an unprecedented travel warning that advised people not to travel in infected areas. Daily WHO updates tracked the spread of SARS seven days a week. It wasn’t clear whether SARS would become a global pandemic, or would settle into a less aggressive pattern.
The rapid, global public health response helped to stem the spread of the virus, and by June 2003, the epidemic had subsided to the degree that on June 7 the WHO backed off from its daily reports. Nevertheless, even as the number of new cases dwindled, and travel advisories began to be lifted, the sober truth remained: every new case had the potential to spark another outbreak. SARS appears to be here to stay, and to have changed the way that the world responds to infectious diseases in the era of widespread international travel.

This contagious respiratory infection was first described on Feb. 26, 2003. World Health Organization (WHO) physician Dr. Carlo Urbani identified SARS as a new disease, diagnosed in a 48-year-old Chinese-American businessman who had traveled from the Guangdong province of China, through Hong Kong, to Hanoi, Vietnam. His infection has been traced back to another guest at the Metropole Hotel. Both guests fell ill and died shortly after becoming infected. Dr. Urbani subsequently died from SARS on March 29, 2003, at the age of 46.

During this time, SARS was spreading around the Pacific Rim, and within 6 weeks of its discovery, it had infected thousands of people around the world, including people in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. Schools had closed throughout Hong Kong and Singapore. National tourism economies were affected.

The WHO had identified SARS as a global health threat April 11, 2003, and issued an unprecedented travel warning that advised people not to travel in infected areas. Daily WHO updates tracked the spread of SARS seven days a week. It wasn’t clear whether SARS would become a global pandemic, or would settle into a less aggressive pattern.

The rapid, global public health response helped to stem the spread of the virus, and by June 2003, the epidemic had subsided to the degree that on June 7 the WHO backed off from its daily reports. Nevertheless, even as the number of new cases dwindled, and travel advisories began to be lifted, the sober truth remained: every new case had the potential to spark another outbreak. SARS appears to be here to stay, and to have changed the way that the world responds to infectious diseases in the era of widespread international travel.

Dr. Carlo Urbani was the first to recognize SARS as a new disease.

Dr. Carlo Urbani was the first to recognize SARS as a new disease.

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Tuesday, 15th March
The Spread of Infection Worldwide

The Spread of Infection Worldwide

If we don’t take great care, SARS could become established in the poorest nations - places like Burundi, Nigeria or Malawi - which have neither the high-tech capability of Toronto nor the totalitarian muscle of China to contain it. If that happens, the consequences for global control could be grave.
Dr. Patrick Dixon // April 2003
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Tuesday, 15th March
The SARS virus was spread to large numbers of people by certain few individuals and circumstances that exponentially increased the disease’s severity. These individuals were name super-spreading events by WHO. In Hong Kong, there were three super-spreading events are known to have occurred.
Metropole Hotel: A doctor that treated an early case stayed at the hotel for vacation and infected large numbers of people. Eighty percent of infections in Hong Kong can be traced back to the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel.

Prince of Wales Hospital: an asthmatic patient put on a nebulizer allowed the virus to travel much wider and further than it would have if it were contained.
Amoy Gardens: 321 persons in the housing estate were infected. Residents of affected blocks were first quarantined in their homes and then transferred to internment camps. The clustering of cases suggested that a defective sewage system was responsible, yet there were concerns that the virus had become airborne.

The SARS virus was spread to large numbers of people by certain few individuals and circumstances that exponentially increased the disease’s severity. These individuals were name super-spreading events by WHO. In Hong Kong, there were three super-spreading events are known to have occurred.

Metropole Hotel: A doctor that treated an early case stayed at the hotel for vacation and infected large numbers of people. Eighty percent of infections in Hong Kong can be traced back to the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel.

Prince of Wales Hospital: an asthmatic patient put on a nebulizer allowed the virus to travel much wider and further than it would have if it were contained.

Amoy Gardens: 321 persons in the housing estate were infected. Residents of affected blocks were first quarantined in their homes and then transferred to internment camps. The clustering of cases suggested that a defective sewage system was responsible, yet there were concerns that the virus had become airborne.

Numbers of people infected, recovered, and deceased from January through November 2003.

Numbers of people infected, recovered, and deceased from January through November 2003.

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Tuesday, 15th March