SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
Typically 2-7 days but may be prolonged up to 10-14 days
Throughout the symptomatic phase of the disease.
Although there may be persistent viral shedding in the stool for up to 6 weeks after recovery from clinical illness, transmission of the disease has not been documented from asymptomatic nor convalescent individuals.
Respiratory droplets and less often by direct contact with objects contaminated by respiratory secretions. Oral-faecal and airborne transmission may occur under special circumstances.
The first outbreak of this new infectious disease occurred in Guangdong, China in November 2002, but soon spread to several Asian countries and Canada by March 2003. The outbreak ended on 5th July 2003, although two cases attributed to laboratory transmission were reported from Singapore and Taiwan in September and December 2003, respectively. Another laboratory associated outbreak occurred in China in April 2004.
The majority of transmission occurred in hospitals and other institutional healthcare settings.
By the end of the worldwide outbreak in July 2003, a total of 8096 cases were reported, with 774 deaths and a case-fatality rate of 9.6 percent.
Between March and May 2003, a total of 238 cases, with 33 deaths, were reported in Singapore. 41% of the cases were healthcare workers, and 68% were females. The median age of all SARS cases was 36 (range 4 to 90) years.