Here is some general information about SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome. Since 2004, no known cases of SARS have been reported worldwide.
SARS is an acute viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus.
Symptoms include fever, cough, severe headache, dizziness, and other flu-like illnesses.
The disease presents as an atypical pneumonia that does not respond to standard treatments.
There were 8,098 confirmed cases of SARS from November 2002 to July 2003, with 774 deaths.
November 16, 2002 – What will become known as SARS is first reported in Foshan, China.
November 2002-February 2003 – Five people die and more than 300 are diagnosed with SARS in Guangdong province, China.
February 15-22, 2003 – Liu Jianlun develops symptoms of SARS while traveling from Huang Xingchu in Guangdong province to visit family in Hong Kong. He is considered patient zero, or the first person to die from the disease. He infects people in his hotel and his family. He is hospitalized and dies, along with a member of his family.
March 15, 2003 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is issuing an emergency travel advisory regarding the disease, calling it a “global threat”.
March 27, 2003 – Hong Kong officials have quarantined more than 1,000 people and closed schools in Singapore.
March 29, 2003 – Dr. Carlo Urbani, the WHO doctor who identified SARS in patient zero, dies from the virus in Bangkok.
April 1, 2003 – An American Airlines flight from Tokyo is quarantined at Mineta San Jose Airport. Three passengers are transported to an area hospital for evaluation for SARS, then released.
April 4, 2003 – By executive order, President George W. Bush added SARS to the list of communicable diseases for which a person can be quarantined.
April 14, 2003 – Working independently, American and Canadian scientists announce that they have sequenced the genome thought to be the cause of SARS.
April 20, 2003 – China cancels a week-long National Day celebration as SARS cases in Beijing jump from 37 to 339 in less than a week. A wholesale vegetable market in Singapore closes and all 2,400 people are quarantined.
April 22, 2003 – The CDC issues a health alert for travelers to Toronto.
April 23, 2003 – Travel warnings and advisories for Shangxi Province, Beijing and Toronto have been increased and those for Hong Kong and Guangdong Province have been extended.
April 28, 2003 – WHO ranks Vietnam as the first country to contain the SARS outbreak.
April 29, 2003 – WHO announces it will lift its SARS advisory against travel to Toronto.
May 14, 2003 – The WHO removes Canada from its list of countries where local transmission of the disease occurs.
May 23, 2003 – The WHO is scrapping its travel warnings against Hong Kong and southern China’s Guangdong province.
May 28, 2003 – Russia confirms first case of SARS, in a town bordering China.
May 29, 2003 – Canada has 29 active cases of SARS and more than 7,000 in home quarantine.
June 17, 2003 – The first major SARS conference opens in Malaysia, with more than 1,000 scientists and clinicians in attendance. WHO lifts travel advisory for Taiwan.
June 24, 2003 – WHO lifts its SARS travel advisory for Beijing.
July 2, 2003 – WHO removes Toronto from its list of areas of recent local transmission of SARS.
July 5, 2003 – WHO announces containment of SARS.
December 17, 2003 – The Taiwanese Ministry of Health reports a case of SARS.
January 5, 2004 – Civet cats are linked through genetic testing to the SARS epidemic, and the Chinese Ministry of Health is ordering the killing of thousands of mammals. A man from Guangdong province in China has a confirmed case of SARS
April 23, 2004 – The Chinese Ministry of Health reports two confirmed cases of SARS, one in the eastern province of Anhui and the other in the capital, Beijing. Two other possible cases are under study.
April 25, 2004 – The Chinese Ministry of Health identifies two new cases of SARS in Beijing.
April 29, 2004 – The Chinese Ministry of Health is reporting two new confirmed cases of SARS in Beijing, bringing the total number of possible or confirmed cases to nine.
April 30, 2004 – China’s health ministry confirms that a woman who died last week in Anhui province had SARS, the first death linked to the disease this year.
May 18, 2004 – The latest reported SARS outbreak is contained in China.
October 5, 2012 – The CDC’s Select Agent Program states that SARS is a Select Agent, “a bacterium, virus, or toxin that has the potential to pose a serious threat to public health and safety.”
December 2017 – Chinese researchers locate a population of bats in a cave in Yunnan province infected with SARS-related coronaviruses. The newly discovered strains contain the genetic building blocks of the strain that started the SARS epidemic.