Today in history: First SARS case suspected in SA

By Drum Digital
09 April 2015

On 9 April 2003, a 62-year-old South African man was treated at a Pretoria hospital as a possible Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS) case.

Date: 9 April, 2003

The man arrived in South Africa from Hong Kong with no signs of being ill but after seven days he started to show flu-like symptoms and cough.

When the doctors conducted tests the results came back negative, although he had all the signs of SARS. Media organisations reported that health officials were investigating how the disease is contracted and spread. Another theory had health officials looking into whether the SARS was actually a combination of viruses.

If this case was confirmed, it would have been the first known case of SARS in South Africa.

At the time, the number of deaths caused by SARS stood at least at 104 out of more than 2,600 cases worldwide.

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