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November 26, 2003

SARS Infection Among Health Care Workers in Beijing, China

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(20):2662-2663. doi:10.1001/jama.290.20.2662

To the Editor: Although a large number of health care workers have been known to be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the incidence and the modes of infection within this population have not been completely described.


We examined SARS infection rates among health care workers in the First Hospital of Peking University, Beijing, China, a general hospital with 1147 beds, 29 clinical departments, and more than 2000 staff members. A total of 322 patients diagnosed with SARS were admitted to the hospital from March 24 through May 13, 2003. Diagnostic criteria for SARS were those of the World Health Organization1; IgG tests with a SARS-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay found that 86% of these patients were positive for SARS during the third week of onset and 99% were positive during the fifth week. No other virological test was performed on these patients.

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