Piecing Together the SARS Puzzle
For more than two months, hospitals in Hong Kong have been struggling to cope with SARS. Staffing has been difficult, because a quarter of all SARS cases in Hong Kong are health-care workers.
The Prince of Wales Hospital in the Shatin section of Hong Kong has been at the center of the outbreak. Much of what the medical world knows about SARS and how to treat it was learned there through hard experience.
At one point, there were 177 SARS-infected patients in the hospital. Now, there's barely 50. Nearly everyone who caught the disease had been in the hospital's ward 8A. Health-care workers have since traced the outbreak to one patient, a 26-year-old man who made several visits to the emergency room, complaining of flu-like symptoms. He was finally admitted -- to ward 8a -- on March 4, when his X-rays showed clear-cut pneumonia. From there, the outbreak began.
NPR's Joe Palca visited the hospital, and reports on what researchers have learned from the Prince of Wales outbreak.
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