Establishment and Analysis of a SARS Real-Time RT-PCR System
2003 Vol.19 NO.7
In February 2003, an American businessman developed atypical pneumonia in Hanoi, and was sent to Hong Kong for treatment, and died there. Thereafter, cases of atypical pneumonia complicated with respiration failure occurred in succession in Hong Kong and Vietnam. At the same time in the Guangdong area of the mainland China, cases of atypical pneumonia also occurred. Similar cases appeared in Taiwan in mid-March. Cases had also occurred one after another in other countries such as Canada, Singapore, and the US. For more effective distinction and definition of the infection, the World Health Organization officially named on 15 March the infection the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In April, the US CDC, by using electro-microscope and virus culture methods, successfully identified the SARS virus as a novel coronavirus. The routes of transmission of the SARS virus were speculated to be via droplets at short distance or by contact. The infection spread at an astonishing speed in many countries for its short incubation period and for the fact that many people had not developed any antibodies against it. In Taiwan, the index case was a businessman surnamed Chin. He visited Guangdong Province on business and developed symptoms of SARS upon return to Taiwan. Subsequent infections of medical and nursing staff and later nosocomial infections brought about panic to the population.