The SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 lasted only 4 months had 8,000 cases and claimed the lives of 775 worldwide. This seems a paltry number of deaths given that since December 2019 the total number of lives claimed by COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is reported to be 265,000 (as of 7th May). The characteristics which have contributed to this are that SARS had a much higher mortality rate and a much lower R0 (the reproductive rate of a disease - the average number of people who will catch the disease from a single infected person). This means that a higher percentage of people who contracted SARS died but it didn’t spread as rapidly as COVID-19. SARS vanished in June 2003 and has not been seen since.


This content is not covered by the Open Government Licence. Please see source record or item for information on rights and permissions.

Cite as

Gormley, M. 2020, 'Pandemics: Why Buildings are Hazards', Building and Cities. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.14944.30722

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 16 June 2022
Was this page helpful?