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Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Jan;10(1):25-31.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Beijing, 2003.

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  • 1Beijing Municipal Health Bureau and Beijing Municipal Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Beijing, China.

Abstract

The largest outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) struck Beijing in spring 2003. Multiple importations of SARS to Beijing initiated transmission in several healthcare facilities. Beijing's outbreak began March 5; by late April, daily hospital admissions for SARS exceeded 100 for several days; 2,521 cases of probable SARS occurred. Attack rates were highest in those 20-39 years of age; 1% of cases occurred in children <10 years. The case-fatality rate was highest among patients >65 years (27.7% vs. 4.8% for those 20-64 years, p < 0.001). Healthcare workers accounted for 16% of probable cases. The proportion of case-patients without known contact to a SARS patient increased significantly in May. Implementation of early detection, isolation, contact tracing, quarantine, triage of case-patients to designated SARS hospitals, and community mobilization ended the outbreak.

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