A farmer in the Shunde district of Foshan County was likely the first case of infection by SARS virus.
China confirmed that the case reported in December was a case of wild source SARS.
The first super-spreader, Zhou Zuofen would bring the disease to the international stage. He checked in to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital in Guangzhou on January 31. This was the same hospital where Liu Jianlun was treating the disease. The virus was soon spread to nearby hospitals while Liu would later spread the disease to Hong Kong.
Liu Jianlun, Hong Kong's first patient, checked into the Metropole Hotel on February 21, with a room on the ninth floor, specifically room 911. Even though he was already feeling somewhat ill he visited with his family and travelled around Hong Kong.
An elderly woman, Kwan Sui-Chu returned to Toronto from Hong Kong after being infected by Liu Jianlun at the Metropole Hotel. She died at home on March 5, after infecting her son Tse Chi Kwai, who spread the disease at Scarborough Grace Hospital and then he also died.
On February 25, a businessman who had travelled in Hong Kong and the Guangdong Province returned home to Taipei. This marked the beginning of the outbreak on Taiwan.
The virus was carried to Hanoi, Vietnam by a fellow guest on the Metropole's ninth floor. A Chinese-American resident of Shanghai, Johnny Chen, had roomed across the hall from Liu at the Metropole. He travelled on to Hanoi, fell ill there, and on February 26, was admitted to the French Hospital of Hanoi where he infected at least 38 of the staff there.
On March 1, 26-year-old Esther Mok was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital after visiting Hong Kong, starting the Singapore outbreak. She recovered as various family members died.
On March 4, a 27-year-old Hong Kong man who had visited a guest in Metropole (on the ninth floor) 11 days earlier was admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital. At least 99 hospital workers (including 17 medical students) were infected while treating him.
Liu Jianlun died in the intensive care Unit at Kwong Wah Hospital after being held in the hospital for around 10 days.
Carlo Urbani, a WHO infectious disease specialist, was among the staff who examined Chen. Urbani observed that other hospital staff were already becoming ill and realized that he was dealing with a new and dangerous disease. His diagnosis was clear: this was an unusual case of an “unknown contagious disease”. Responding to the gravity of the situation, Dr Urbani alerted WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Hanoi French Hospital didn't accept new patients starting from March 11, but it only kept its own infected staff.
On March 12, WHO issued a global alert about a new infectious disease of unknown origin in both Vietnam and Hong Kong.
Johnny Chen was then evacuated to Hong Kong, he died on March 13.
On March 15, WHO issued a heightened global health alert about mysterious pneumonia with a case definition of SARS after cases in Singapore and Canada were also identified. The alert included a rare emergency travel advisory to international travellers, healthcare professionals, and health authorities.
Liu's brother-in-law sought medical treatment in late February, entered the hospital on March 1, and died on March 19. Twenty-three other guests from the Metropole developed SARS, seven of them from the ninth floor, and it is estimated that around 80% of the Hong Kong cases were due to Liu.
On March 15, Nguyen Thi Luong, the nurse who had tended to Chen, died.
On March 19, Jean Paul Derosier, the anesthetist who had put Chen on a ventilator, died.
On March 24, gynecologist Nguyen The Phuong and nurse Nguyen Thi Uyen died.
The Ministry of Education of Singapore announced that all primary schools, secondary schools, and junior colleges were to be shut until April 6, 2003.
On March 27, Hong Kong Education and Manpower Bureau announced the class cancellation of all educational institutions.
During a flight to Bangkok to attend a conference, Dr Urbani developed symptoms of SARS. He died of complication related to SARS on 29 March 2003 – a public health hero.
On March 30, Hong Kong authorities quarantined estate E of the Amoy Gardens Apartment due to a massive (200+ cases) outbreak in the building.
On April 2, Chinese medical officials began reporting the status of the SARS outbreak. China's southern Guangdong province reported 361 new infections and 9 new deaths, increasing the total Mainland China figures previously reported at end-February.
A Chinese health specialist admitted at a press conference of not informing the public early enough about the outbreak. The PRC Health Minister also claimed that the disease has been under control in most parts of mainland China. He also released the names of seven drugs which he claimed to be effective in curing SARS.
On April 5, the Singapore government announced that school closures would be extended. Junior colleges were to reopen on April 9, secondary schools would reopen on April 14 and primary schools and pre-schools would reopen on April 16.
On April 6, a SARS case was found in Manila (the capital city of the Philippines), a person who had returned from Hong Kong.
On April 8, SARS started to plague the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate near Amoy Gardens in Kowloon. Hong Kong health officials warned that SARS had spread so far domestically and abroad that it was here to stay.
On April 9, James Earl Salisbury died of SARS at a hospital in Hong Kong. An American Mormon and a teacher at Shenzhen Polytechnic.
He had been sick for approximately one month before his death, but he was originally diagnosed with pneumonia.
His son Michael "Mickey" Salisbury was with him in China and also contracted the disease, but he survived it.
Salisbury's death led to more open admissions by the Chinese government about the spread of SARS.
On April 11, the World Health Organization issued a global health alert for SARS as it became clear the disease was being spread by global air travel.
Hanoi French Hospital shut its doors completely after the last patient's death on April 12.
On April 12, Marco Marra, director of the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, which is part of the British Columbia Cancer Agency, announced that scientists at his centre had broken the genetic code of the virus suspected of causing the disease.
In Toronto, three more people died of SARS, bringing the Canadian death toll to 13.
On April 16, Doctors were surprised to discover the occurrence of at least two cases of SARS in Dinner, a village near Bangalore, India.
On April 16, the WHO issued a press release stating that the coronavirus identified by a number of laboratories was the official cause of SARS. The virus was officially named the SARS virus ( The Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus )
On April 20, Beijing's mayor and the health minister of the PRCwere replaced respectively by Wang Qishan and the former deputy health minister Gao Qiang. In the news conference chaired by Gao Qiang several hours earlier, the PRC admitted that in Beijing there were more than 300 cases, as opposed to the previous figure of only 37.
On April 22, schools, in Hong Kong, started to reopen in stages.
On April 23, Beijing announced that all primary and secondary schools would be closed for two weeks. A few days before, some colleges in Peking University had been closed because some students had been infected.
On April 23, The WHO issued travel advisories against Beijing, Toronto, and Shanxi Province.
On April 25, Taipei city government closed Taipei Municipal Hospital Hoping branch, and quarantined its 930 staff and 240 patients for 2 weeks. Later, people were relocated and the building sanitized.
On April 26–27, Chinese authorities closed down theatres, discos, and other entertainment venues in Beijing as the death toll in Beijing continued to rise, threatening to become the worst-hit area of the country
On May 3, the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup was abruptly moved to the United States due to the outbreak.
On May 4, the newly infected number of people in Hong Kong dropped to a single digit.
On May 20, the WHO refused to lift the Tourism Warning for Hong Kong and Guangdong.
On May 23, after a recount of the number of SARS patients, the WHO lifted the Tourism Warning from Hong Kong and Guangdong.
On May 24, the number of newly infected patients reached zero for in Hong Kong, the first time since the outbreak in the territory in March.
On May 24, a new cluster of about 20 suspected patients was reported in Toronto.
By May 29, more than 5000 people were quarantined in Canada by authorities seeking to control the potential spread of the SARS outbreak.
On May 31, Singapore was removed from WHO's list of 'Infected Areas'.
On June 23, Hong Kong was removed from WHO's list of 'Affected Areas', while Toronto, Beijing, and Taiwan remained.
On July 5, WHO declared the SARS outbreak contained and removed Taiwan from the list of affected areas. There had been no new cases for 20 days although around 200 people were still hospitalized with the disease.
On Sep 8, Singapore announced that a post-doctoral worker in a SARS research lab in the National University of Singapore had contracted the disease while working on another virus but recovered shortly thereafter.
A researcher in a SARS lab in Taiwan was found infected with SARS after returning from Singapore attending a medical conference.
As a consequence, 74 people in Singapore were quarantined but none of them were infected.
On Dec 27, China announced the first suspected case of SARS in six months in Guangdong in an individual who was not a SARS researcher.
A restaurant worker in Guangdong was confirmed as the second wild source SARS since the outbreak was contained.
China announced a third case of SARS in Guangzhou.
On January 31, China announced the fourth case of SARS as a 40-year-old doctor from the southern city of Guangzhou.
WHO announced that cumulative number of cases reached 8096 and number of deaths reached 774.
On April 23, China announced that a 53-year-old woman had died on April 19, its first SARS death since June. Two other cases were found, who were both healthcare workers, one of which was the deceased woman's daughter.
The outbreak originated from a researcher working on the SARS virus in a lab at the Institute of Virology in Beijing, who inadvertently caught the disease and ended up spreading it to the nurse taking care of him.
On May 1, Two additional confirmed cases of SARS and three additional suspected cases were reported in Beijing, all related to a single research lab. The total number of cases was six.
On May 2, China announced the three suspected cases as genuine cases of SARS, bringing the total cases in a recent outbreak to nine. 189 people were released from quarantine.
On May 19, As no new infections had been reported in a three-week period, WHO announced China as free of further cases of SARS.
No new cases of SARS has been reported through 2005 or in late 2004.