The battle against SARS: a Chinese story Academic Article uri icon


  • SARS is the first major new infectious disease in the 21st century (Rodier, 2003) and is described as a "serious disaster"in mainland China where it caused unprecedented panic and social and economic consequences. A total of 5,327SARS cases were reported, with 348 deaths (Ministry of Health, 2003a). Although the Chinese government wascriticised by the international community for underreporting at the early stages of the SARS epidemic (Editor CMAJ,2003a), China eventually achieved remarkable success in combating SARS.This paper documents some aspects of the Chinese experience in fighting against SARS, based on interviews with myChinese colleagues, analysed with reference to government policy documents and published articles. My intervieweesincluded health officials at the central, provincial and municipal levels and hospital managers who had been workingin the frontline of the battle against SARS.

publication date

  • 2003