Epidemiologic Clues to SARS Origin in China
Published Date:Jun 2004
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 10(6):1030-1037.
Aged, 80 And Over
Communicable Diseases, Emerging, Child, Aged
Pneumonia, Community-acquired Infections, Disease Outbreaks, Zoonoses, China
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Description:An epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) began in Foshan municipality, Guangdong Province, China, in November 2002. We studied SARS case reports through April 30, 2003, including data from case investigations and a case series analysis of index cases. A total of 1,454 clinically confirmed cases (and 55 deaths) occurred; the epidemic peak was in the first week of February 2003. Healthcare workers accounted for 24% of cases. Clinical signs and symptoms differed between children (<18 years) and older persons (> or =65 years). Several observations support the hypothesis of a wild animal origin for SARS. Cases apparently occurred independently in at least five different municipalities; early case-patients were more likely than later patients to report living near a produce market (odds ratio undefined; lower 95% confidence interval 2.39) but not near a farm; and 9 (39%) of 23 early patients, including 6 who lived or worked in Foshan, were food handlers with probable animal contact.
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