SARS in Hospital Emergency Room

Yee Chun Chen, Li Min Huang, Chang Chuan Chan, Chan Ping Su, Shan Chwen Chang, Ying Ying Chang, Mel Ling Chen, Chien Ching Hung, Wen Jone Chen, Fang Yue Lin, Yuan Teh Lee, Ding Shinn Chen, Yuan Teh Lee, Che Ming Teng, Pan Chyr Yang, Hong Nerng Ho, Pei Jer Chen, Ming Fu Chang, Jin Town Wang, Chuan Liang KaoWei Kung Wang, Cheng Hsiang Hsiao, Po Ren Hsueh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty-one cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred after exposure in the emergency room at the National Taiwan University Hospital. The index patient was linked to an outbreak at a nearby municipal hospital. Three clusters were identified over a 3-week period. The first cluster (5 patients) and the second cluster (14 patients) occurred among patients, family members, and nursing aids. The third cluster (12 patients) occurred exclusively among healthcare workers. Six healthcare workers had close contact with SARS patients. Six others, with different working patterns, indicated that they did not have contact with a SARS patient. Environmental surveys found 9 of 119 samples of inanimate objects to be positive for SARS coronavirus RNA. These observations indicate that although transmission by direct contact with known SARS patients was responsible for most cases, environmental contamination with the SARS coronavirus may have lead to infection among healthcare workers without documented contact with known hospitalized SARS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-788
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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