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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2003: Volume 7/ Issue 37 Article 3
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 37, 11 September 2003

Citation style for this article: Summary table of probable SARS cases in the EU, by country: September 2003. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(37):pii=2291. Available online:

Summary table of probable SARS cases in the EU, by country: September 2003

Adapted from reference 1 by the editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office


Countries Female Male Total Median age (range) Number of cases with laboratory evidence of SARS-CoV infection* Number of cases recovered Number of deaths CFRa (%) Number of imported cases (%) Number of healthcare workers affected (%) Date onset first probable case Date onset last probable case
Finland 0 1 1 24 0 1 0 0 1 (100) 0 30-Apr-03 30-Apr-03
France 1 6 7 49 (26-56) 4 6 1 14 7 (100) 2 (29)b 21-Mar-03 03-May-03
Germany 4 5 9 44 (4-73) 4 9 0 0 9 (100) 1 (11)c 09-Mar-03 06-May-03
Republic of Ireland 0 1 1 56 0 1 0 0 1 (100) 0 (0) 27-Feb-03 27-Feb-03
Italy 1 3 4 30.5 (25-54) 1 4 0 0 4 (100) 0 (0) 12-Mar-03 20-Apr-03
Spain 0 1 1 33 0 1 0 0 1 (100) 0 (0) 26-Mar-03 26-Mar-03
Sweden** 3 2 5 43 (33-55) 0 5 0 0 5 (100) 0 (0) 28-Mar-03 23-Apr-03
United Kingdom 2 2 4 59 (28-74) 1 4 0 0 4 (100) 0 (0) 01-Mar-03 01-Apr-03
Total** 11 21 32 (4-74) 10 31 1 3 32 (100) 3 (9) 27-Feb-03 06-May-03


a Case-fatality rate (CFR) based on cases with known outcome and irrespective of immediate cause of death
b Includes imported cases in HCWs occupationally exposed
cThis case was in a medical doctor (not a German resident) who became ill while in transit through Frankfurt.
* see case details by country below
** Sweden is currently reporting two additional cases that were not included in the WHO table of 15 August


By 7 August 2003, a total of 30 cases (9 females and 21 males) of probable severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) had been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission by eight EU countries (all were reported after 1 February 2003 and prior to 5 July 2003). Germany and France have the highest number of cases, 9 and 7 respectively. The majority of cases were in adults with the age of patients ranging from 4 to 74 years. Sweden is currently in the process of reporting an additional 2 cases (both in males) to the WHO and the European Commission.

All of the patients had acquired their infection while travelling in a SARS affected country at the time of travel. Only 3 cases were in healthcare workers. One death was reported in France. All other cases have fully recovered.

Details of cases which are reported to have tested positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or serology for the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) are given below. Laboratory case definitions for SARS are available at

The reported case tested PCR positive for SARS-CoV at first, but was later discounted because of negative SARS serology at >28 days and an alternative diagnosis of influenza B infection detected by serology in samples taken on May 5 and May 20.

Three cases were PCR positive for SARS-CoV (positive on at least two different respiratory samples taken on different days), and one additional case had evidence of seroconversion to SARS-CoV.

Three cases were PCR positive for SARS-CoV and also immunofluorescence test confirmed, and one case was confirmed by immunofluorescence test alone.

SARS-CoV was detected by viral isolation and PCR in one of the four probable cases.

United Kingdom
One case tested positive for SARS-CoV by PCR and ELISA (seroconversion).

Additional information kindly provided by Pekka Nuorti (KTL, Finland), Jean-Claude Desenclos (Institut de Veille Sanitaire, France), Wolfgang Kiehl and Ines Steffens (Robert Koch-Institut, Germany), Stefania Salmaso and Giovanni Rezza (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy), Darina O'Flanagan (National Disease Surveillance Centre, Ireland), Elena Rodríguez Valín (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain), Ragnhild Janzon (Smittskyddsinstitutet, Sweden), Valerie Delpech (Health Protection Agency Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, England), and Paolo Guglielmetti, Massimo Ciotti, and Luciano Vittozzi, (DG SANCO, European Commission).


  1. WHO. Summary table of SARS cases by country, 1 November 2002 - 7 August 2003. 15 August 2003. ( [accessed 10 September 2003]

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