SARS - FAQ

The Disaster Center's Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Page

Updated Charts - May 5, 2003

During the period from March 17 to March 26 the daily rate of increase in new SARS cases was 14% of the previous days total cases. On March 26 cases that had not been reported from China were added to the total and the rate of increase in the percentage from the previous period changed to around 5%, so we reset the number to the actual cases. At the end of this period, on April 2 we reset the number to the actual number of SARS cases again because a number of unreported cases were added from China. From April 2 through April 22, the rate of increase in SARS cases was steady at 3%. From April 23 to April 28 the rate of new SARS cases increase from 3 to 4 percent. Beginning April 29th the rate increased again by 5 percent of the percent of the previous days total SARS cases.

If this rate of new cases continues by January 31, 2004 the total number of SARS cases world wide would be approaching 4 billion. Since it is not expected that a vaccine will be developed by that date and the death rate from the disease is around 10% we would expect that the death toll would be around 400,000,000 by the time the disease runs its course.

The problem now in China is severe because the systems in place to respond
to disease are at a breaking point. There are not enough hospital
beds for those affected with the disease so isolation of the affected is
probably not practical.

The rate of increace in the spread of the disease in Hong Kong, Singapore
and Canada is now averaging about 1.4% of the previous days total for the
last ten days. The most recent data is much lower. The problems
now is in China, and the disease is making inroads into other third world
nations.

The difference between a rate of increase of 1.4% and 5% over the previous
days total is 200,000 cases vs. 4,000,000,000 cases by January 27, 2003.

This projection is based on the discovery of 1.4% new cases of SARS
every day. This rate corresponds to the rate of new cases in Singapore,
Hong Kong and Canada, in the last ten days. This approximates our
old estimate which was based on a 40% increase in the total number of reported
cases every two weeks. We should consider this rate of the spread
of the disease as the minimum. As the disease spreads the resources available
to fight the spread will become thinner. Equipment and supplies needed
to issolate the infected will eventually become stretched to the breaking
point. At that point the personal hygine habits of an individual
and the individuals around the person will be the determining factor of
infection. Our worst case scenerio is an increase in the number of
people infected at a rate of 5% per day.

It doesn't make much sense to carry this scenario out much beyond the
New Year.

This is the present rate for the spread of the disease. This
rate has been fairly consistent since figures became available from March
17, 2003. The difference between these two curves show us why we
must do everything that we can to slow down the spread of the disease.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Projected Cases

SARS - FAQ

The Disaster Center's
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Page