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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Preparedness, Management, and Impact

Mark B. Loeb , MD, MSc
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 25, No. 12 (December 2004), pp. 1017-1019
DOI: 10.1086/502337
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/502337
Page Count: 3
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Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Preparedness, Management, and Impact
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Abstract

EXCERPT Approximately 21 months have passed since the World Health Organization officially confirmed the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak. Originating in the southern Chinese province of Guandong, from a putative animal source, the transmission of SARS from an infected physician to other guests at the Hotel Metropol in Hong Kong led to global spread. Eight thousand ninety‐six individuals were infected and 774 died.1 Characterizations of the etiologic agent2 along with initial clinical descriptions of the syndrome3,4 were followed by reports of outcomes of affected patients.5 As the outbreak progressed, it became clear that this was largely a healthcare facility–based outbreak, with healthcare workers, patients, and visitors being at risk. The bulk of the evidence, namely the descriptive epidemiology and related observational studies, suggests that droplet spread is the most common form of transmission.6,7 Although airborne transmission has been proposed as a mode of spread, the extent to which this occurred remains controversial.8

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