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      Dynamically Modeling SARS and Other Newly Emerging Respiratory Illnesses : Past, Present, and Future

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          Superspreading SARS Events, Beijing, 2003

          Superspreading events were pivotal in the global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We investigated superspreading in one transmission chain early in Beijing’s epidemic. Superspreading was defined as transmission of SARS to at least eight contacts. An index patient with onset of SARS 2 months after hospital admission was the source of four generations of transmission to 76 case-patients, including 12 healthcare workers and several hospital visitors. Four (5%) case circumstances met the superspreading definition. Superspreading appeared to be associated with older age (mean 56 vs. 44 years), case fatality (75% vs. 16%, p = 0.02, Fisher exact test), number of close contacts (36 vs. 0.37) and attack rate among close contacts (43% vs. 18.5%, p < 0.025). Delayed recognition of SARS in a hospitalized patient permitted transmission to patients, visitors, and healthcare workers. Older age and number of contacts merit investigation in future studies of superspreading.
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            SARS Outbreak, Taiwan, 2003

            We studied the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Taiwan, using the daily case-reporting data from May 5 to June 4 to learn how it had spread so rapidly. Our results indicate that most SARS-infected persons had symptoms and were admitted before their infections were reclassified as probable cases. This finding could indicate efficient admission, slow reclassification process, or both. The high percentage of nosocomial infections in Taiwan suggests that infection from hospitalized patients with suspected, but not yet classified, cases is a major factor in the spread of disease. Delays in reclassification also contributed to the problem. Because accurate diagnostic testing for SARS is currently lacking, intervention measures aimed at more efficient diagnosis, isolation of suspected SARS patients, and reclassification procedures could greatly reduce the number of infections in future outbreaks.
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              Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: Temporal Stability and Geographic Variation in Death Rates and Doubling Times

              We analyzed temporal stability and geographic trends in cumulative case-fatality rates and average doubling times of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In part, we account for correlations between case-fatality rates and doubling times through differences in control measures. Factors that may alter future estimates of case-fatality rates, reasons for heterogeneity in doubling times among countries, and implications for the control of SARS are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Epidemiology
                Epidemiology
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                1044-3983
                2005
                November 2005
                : 16
                : 6
                : 791-801
                Article
                10.1097/01.ede.0000181633.80269.4c
                © 2005

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