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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 28, 10 July 2003

Citation style for this article: WHO announces worldwide containment of SARS. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(28):pii=2254. Available online:

WHO announces worldwide containment of SARS

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office.

Taiwan, the last country remaining on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of countries with local SARS transmission, was this week removed from the list, signalling the global containment of the epidemic (1,2). It has been over 20 days, or two consecutive 10-day incubation periods since the last reported case, which was detected and isolated in Taiwan on 15 June.

WHO has warned that continued global vigilance for SARS is crucial for the foreseeable future. Scientists continue to work on a diagnostic test, needed to distinguish SARS patients from those suffering from other respiratory illnesses, particularly during the influenza season.

Milestones to SARS elimination: Travel recommendations prior to containment

2 April: Issued for Hong Kong and Guangdong Province, China.

23 April: Issued for Beijing and Shanxi Province, China, and for Toronto, Canada.

30 April: Lifted for Toronto.

8 May: Issued for Tianjin and Inner Mongolia, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.

17 May: Issued for Hebei Province, China.

21 May: Issued for all of Taiwan.

23 May: Lifted for Hong Kong and Guangdong Province,

13 June: Lifted for Heibei, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, and Tianjin provinces, China.

17 June: Lifted for Taiwan

24 June: Lifted for Beijing - the last area on the list.

Chronology of changes in the list of areas with recent local transmission

22 March: Initial list includes Toronto, parts of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Viet Nam.

11 April: Beijing added.

28 April: Viet Nam removed - becomes first country to contain its SARS outbreak.

1 May: Mongolia added.

7 May: Philippines added.

9 May: Mongolia removed.

14 May: Toronto removed.

20 May: Philippines removed.

26 May: Toronto added for second time.

31 May: Singapore removed.

13 June: Guangdong, Hebei, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Tianjin (China) removed.

23 June: Hong Kong removed.

24 June: Beijing removed.

2 July: Toronto removed.

5 July: Taiwan removed.

References :
  1. WHO. Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response. Disease outbreak news: Update 96 - Taiwan, China: SARS transmission interrupted in last outbreak area, 5 July 2003. (
  2. WHO. SARS outbreak contained worldwide. Press release, 5 July 2003. (

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