The Illness Spreads

Severe acute respiratory syndrome spread swiftly among five continents in less than a year and has been responsible for killing hundreds of people worldwide. The outbreak was first reported in a province of China and managed to reach the farthest corners of the world very fast.

From November 16th of 2002 until February 2003 there were around 300 cases reported in China alone; 105 people of the total 300 were health care workers who caught the disease from their patients.

A doctor from the Guangdong province contracted the virus after working with a patient with SARS. He traveled to Hong Kong in order to attend a wedding and it is believed that 80% of SARS cases were caused by some sort of contact with this one person.

A man became infected after sharing the same floor of a hotel with the doctor and he was responsible for taking the disease into Vietnam. Another person from the same hotel returned to his home in Singapore and the virus began to make victims there as well. Most of those visiting the Guangdong Province became ill and took the sickness with them when they traveled to other countries. Taiwan came after Vietnam.

A doctor of the World Health Organization, who pronounced SARS as a new disease also contracted the virus and was immediately hospitalized after arriving in Thailand and died soon after of a heart attack.

The virus kept scattering uncontrolled from November 2002 until February 2003 due to the reluctance of Chinese authorities who discouraged media coverage. Only after the severity of the illness was discovered that the word of the epidemic spread globally and preventive methods were taken.

After dispersing through most of Asia, the virus made its way around the world due to tourists coming and leaving from infected areas or coming in contact with those who were carrying the virus.