Early cases of SARS appeared to have originated in southern China (Guangdong province) as an unusual epidemic of severe pneumonia in November 2002. In 2003, an international outbreak developed involving 29 countries with 8098 cases of probable SARS and 774 (9.6%) deaths.[2] Most of what is known about the disease has been provided by this 2003 outbreak. The countries with the greatest number of reported cases included China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Canada.

There are no known cases of SARS transmission in any part of the world. The last known case was on 15 July 2003, in Taiwan. Since then, 7 additional sporadic cases in humans have been reported: 2 laboratory-acquired in Singapore and Taiwan in 2003, and a cluster of 5 confirmed cases in China in April 2004.

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