The Infectious Myth

A Book Project by David Crowe

SARS Timeline

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SARS was a mere flash in the pan. It became the panic of the year in 2003 (except in the US where the war in Iraq started) and every one of the seriously ill victims had something in common – but not a virus…

Year(s)Event
2002 November 16First known case in Guangdong, China
2003 February 11China reports that there have been 300 cases including 4 deaths
2003 March 5Sui-chu Kwan, a 78-year-old woman from Hong Kong, dies in Toronto
2003 March 11Hong Kong reports an outbreak
2003 March 13Kwan's son Chi Kwai Tse, 44, also dies.
2003 March 15WHO declares SARS a "Worldwide Health Threat"
2003 March 18German scientists find a paramyxovirus in one SARS patient.
2003 March 19Cases reported in the US, UK, Spain, Germany and Slovenia
2003 March 20Hong Kong epidemiologists trace five cases to the Metropole Hotel (although there is no documented contact between the cases)
2003 March 20Canadian scientists find metapneumovirus in six of eight Canadian cases.
2003 March 23Joseph DeRisi tells CDC that a novel coronavirus is the cause of SARS
2003 March 24Singapore confines hundreds of people who might have been exposed to their homes.
2003 March 25Ontario Health Minister Tony Clement gives health care workers legal powers to track and control exposed people.
2003 March 25Scarborough's Grace Hospital, in the Toronto area, closes.
2003 March 27Hong Kong quarantines more than 1,000 people.
2003 March 27WHO recommends airline passenger screening for flights leaving from Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hanoi, Taiwan and Guangdong.
2003 March 29Carlo Urbani, the WHO official who identified SARS, dies
2003 April 1A plane is quarantined in San Jose after the pilot diagnoses four people with SARS, a diagnosis that turns out to be incorrect.
2003 April 4US President signs executive order making SARS a quarantinable disease
2003 April 5China apologizes for its slow response
2003 April 12Canadian death toll reaches 13.
2003 April 14Canadian scientists claim to have sequenced the genome of the virus responsible for SARS
2003 April 16WHO scientists announce that monkeys innoculated with a new coronavirus came down with SARS-like symptoms. No proof that this was purified virus was provided.
2003 April 23WHO warns against travel to Toronto
2003 April 25Canadian death toll reaches 19.
2003 April 25Health officials in Vancouver say SARS may never be fully contained and Canadians may just have to live with it
2003 May 3200 new cases announced in Beijing.
2003 May 4One million children will stay home from school for another two weeks in Beijing.
2003 May 510,000 people quarantined in Nanjing
2003 May 6Nanjing authorities quarantine 10,000 people.
2003 May 15China threatens to execute or jail for life anyone who breaks SARS quarantine orders
2003 May 15Scientists announce in the journal Nature that a coronavirus is the proven cause of SARS
2003 May 22Peak of the epidemic with 65 new cases in Taiwan in one day.
2003 May 24Over 500 people are quarantined in Toronto due to about 25 new cases.
2003 May 262,200 people are quarantined throughout Ontario, mainly in Toronto.
2003 June 2Canadian total is now 32.
2003 July 2Toronto is declared SARS free after 20 days without a new case.
2003 July 21Scientists announce that a Coronavirus is the cause of SARS.
2003 August 13The 44th Canadian death from SARS is Toronto doctor Nestor Yanga.
2003 September 9Singapore announces a new case, the first in five months.
2003 October 4Taiwan cuts SARS death toll in half, worldwide total now believed to be 774 deaths
2003 November 13It is announced that SARS screening at airports in Canada failed to turn up a single case.
2003 December 17Taiwan announces a new case, in a medical researcher.
2004 January 5China confirms a case in Guangdong and plans to slaughter thousands of civet cats.
2004 January 5Another case of SARS in Guangdong.
2004 April 7A suspected case of SARS in a Beijing nurse results in 171 people being monitored for symptoms.
2004 April 26China announces another four cases connected to a patient who worked at a SARS laboratory.
2004 April 29There are now 9 confirmed or suspect cases related to Beijing's Institute of Virology

Copyright April, 2010 by David Crowe.