"Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a viral respiratory disease, has been reported in 32 countries as of July 11, 2003. SARS is believed to have originated in Guangdong Province, China, in November 2002. Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, identified a coronavirus as the agent responsible for infecting 8,437 persons worldwide, with 813 deaths as of July 11, 2003. According to recent epidemiologic data from Hong Kong, a person exposed to SARS enters an incubation period with a mean length of 6.4 days. Symptomatic persons in that study were hospitalized at a mean rate of 1/4.85 days-1. Those who recovered were discharged a mean of 23.5 days after diagnosis, while the mean period to death was 35.9 days after diagnosis. Because no specific treatment for SARS exists, control of the epidemic relied on rapid diagnosis and isolation of patients, an approach that is reported to be effective. However, most early SARS cases in Toronto occurred in hospitals, with movement of SARS patients between hospitals contributing to the disease?s initial spread. In Taiwan, 94% of SARS cases occurred through transmission in hospital wards, and similar effects occurred in Hong Kong and Singapore. Although the SARS epidemic was eventually controlled, the measures used to achieve that control varied greatly in scope from one place to another. Control of an outbreak relies partly on identifying what disease parameters are likely to lead to a reduction in the reproduction number R0. Here we calculate the dependence of R0 on model parameters."
Center for Disease Control and Protection: http://www.cdc.gov
Emerging Infectious Diseases (July 2004), v.10 no.7