On 6 June 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published updates to its ‘Essential Medicines List’ (EML). Read more here.

Eurosurveillance is on the updated list of the Directory of Open Access Journals and in the SHERPA/RoMEO database. Read more here.

Follow Eurosurveillance on Twitter: @Eurosurveillanc

In this issue

Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 15 Article 3
Back to Table of Contents

Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 15, 10 April 2003

Citation style for this article: Barboza P, Quatresous I. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - update on the international outbreak, 8 April 2003. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(15):pii=2203. Available online:

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) - update on the international outbreak, 8 April 2003

Philippe Barboza ( and Isabelle Quatresous (, on behalf of the International Department, Institut de veille sanitaire, France.

The state of the international outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was summarized by the International Department at the Institut de veille sanitaire in France at 1900 hours Central European time, 8 April 2003, as follows. Data were compiled from the following sources: Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Department of Health (, Singapore Ministry of Health (, Health Canada (, the World Health Organization (WHO,, Center for Disease Control Taiwan, (, Robert Koch-Institut, Germany ( , and other national public health institutes.

Hanoi, Vietnam
Four cases originating from Ninh Binh province have been hospitalised in Bach Mai. The index case (a 67 year old man) may have been infected when visiting his son at the Hanoi French Hospital. Around 50 healthcare staff of the Ninh Binh hospital who cared for the index case were quarantined.

Hong Kong
As of 8 April, 928 probable cases have been notified: 283 are residents of the Amoy Gardens housing complex, 226 are healthcare staff, and 419 are relatives or close contacts of existing cases. Of the 220 cases notified in the past seven days, 51 are healthcare staff, 43 are residents of the Amoy Gardens housing complex, and 126 are relatives or close contacts of cases. Since the epidemic started, 24 deaths have been reported (excluding the index case in Hanoi), 116 patients have been admitted to intensive care hospital wards, and 138 patients are considered to have recovered, and have been discharged from hospital. Investigation around the Amoy Garden cases is ongoing. Although several hypotheses have been suggested to explain the transmission route in this atypical cluster, no evidence has yet confirmed any of them.

People’s Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong)
Health authorities have started official reporting of cases, and the World Health Organization team of experts has been permitted to travel to Guangdong Province. Little data on the investigation has yet been released. As of 8 April, 1271 cases have been notified, of which 1206 in Guangdong Province. The remaining 65 cases were notified in six other provinces of China. Sixty five deaths have been officially reported, 45 of which occurred in Guangdong Province. A Finnish patient who worked for the International Labour Organization died in Beijing on 6 April after suffering from SARS symptoms. The source of infection has not been determined.

As of 8 April, 118 SARS probable cases have been reported (20 of which in the past week). These include seven index (or imported) cases, 59 healthcare workers, and 52 relatives or close contacts of cases. Nine deaths have been notified. A new cluster without any apparent epidemiological link to the first cluster has been identified at Singapore General Hospital, involving 46 people, 31 of whom are medical staff, 11 hospital visitors, and 4 patients. Seven are probable cases, 38 are suspected cases and one person has been admitted to hospital for monitoring.

As of 8 April, 91 probable cases have been notified, (88 in Ontario and 3 in British Columbia). All probable cases have been in people who had travelled in South East Asia or had been in contact with SARS cases, either as relatives of cases or at a healthcare institution. Ten deaths have occurred, mainly in people over 70 years of age, who had a concomitant condition. Currently, 61 of the 91 probable cases have been admitted to hospital. Among them, 40 are in a good clinical condition. According to the health authorities there is currently no evidence of transmission in the general population, all cases having being associated to exposure while travelling in an affected area or directly exposed through contacts with a patient (family members or medical staff).

United States
Only one case definition, for suspected cases, is currently being used in the United States (US) ( Therefore the cases reported in the US are not comparable to those reported in other countries. As of 8 April, 148 suspected cases had been notified in thirty states. Although very little information about these cases has been released, only 27 of the 115 cases notified up to 4 April presented clinical signs of pneumonia.

Other countries
See table.



back to top

Back to Table of Contents

The publisher’s policy on data collection and use of cookies.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to Eurosurveillance do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) or the editorial team or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. Neither ECDC nor any person acting on behalf of ECDC is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in this journal. The information provided on the Eurosurveillance site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Our website does not host any form of commercial advertisement. Except where otherwise stated, all manuscripts published after 1 January 2016 will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. You are free to share and adapt the material, but you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Eurosurveillance [ISSN] - ©2007-2016. All rights reserved

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.