During outbreaks of SARS
and H5N1, a laboratory protocol was established to notify the on-call laboratory professional when a sample was received for testing for 1 of these pathogens (Figure).
They plotted patient residence addresses using a GIS to research such aspects as the superspreading event responsible for more than 300 cases in the Amoy Gardens housing development and microclusters of SARS
cases (where the density of infection varied widely between districts).
The virus that causes SARS
has spiky molecules called S proteins protruding from its surface.
Scientists think the SARS
virus (nonliving particle that invades and reproduces in a living cell) hides in an animal host (organism in or on which another organism lives or feeds).
But very little has changed, judging from a recent trip to the squalid animal market in Guangzhou, where the government ordered 10,000 civets exterminated after the World Health Organization determined the catlike animals carry a virus linked to SARS
criteria for defining a SARS
case for national reporting.
The world held its collective breath during the spring and summer as reports of the spread of the SARS
illness came over radio and TV.
Although most existing reports have focused on adult SARS
patients, recent reports revealed that the clinical course was less severe in pediatric SARS
patients than in adult SARS
Even though it had the third-worst outbreak of SARS
, behind China and Hong Kong, Singapore's death rate was 15 percent, lower than the less severe North America outbreak centered in Toronto.
The good news is that SARS
has largely been-contained in the U.
By June 5, 2003, there were 8,400 cases of SARS
worldwide and 775 deaths.
At the time, SARS
had infected barely 1500 people and caused fewer than 100 deaths in Beijing; tragic, certainly, but not enough to singlehandedly shutter a city of 14 million.