A decade on from Sars: Torment of the first patient

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

While most people's memories of the 2002-03 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome - which killed 774 people worldwide - are fading, people like Huang Xingchu are still living with its legacy every day.

Monday, 1 April, 2013, 5:06am

Ten years on - the mental and physical scars of Sars

Hygiene officers place rat traps around Amoy Gardens in April 2003 in an effort to determine whether the rodents contributed to the Sars outbreak. Photo: Martin Chan

Ten years ago today, residents of Amoy Gardens in Hong Kong woke up to find their homes were on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

1 Apr 2013 - 4:08am

'Sars-like virus could hit HK despite false alarm'

A view of the traffic sign outside Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP/Jonathan Wong

Hong Kong should not lower its guard against a deadly Sars-like virus despite the city's first suspected case being a false alarm, a microbiologist warned.

Dr Ho Pak-leung, of the University of Hong Kong, spoke out after a four-year-old boy tested negative for novel coronavirus, which has killed one Middle Eastern man and left another seriously ill.

9 Oct 2012 - 10:22am

Shutting schools conquered swine flu

More than half of the victims of a swine flu pandemic three years ago were school children and school closures proved to be a practical way to slow the spread of the disease, a study has found.

15 Aug 2012 - 11:07pm

A good week for ...

James Doohan

27 May 2012 - 12:00am

Health bites

Top of the pops

You can feel a little less guilty for indulging in that bucket of popcorn. Scientists have revealed that the snack contains more of the healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols than fruits and vegetables.

27 Mar 2012 - 12:00am


Bad day for theme parks as rides come to a halt

29 Jan 2012 - 12:00am

Sex and the TeenAider

Here's the good news - Hong Kong's HIV infection rate is relatively low compared with those in other parts of the world.

But teenagers are still being infected through sexual contact, and they needn't be if they were better informed and had someone to talk to, says Aids Concern, a local charity.

27 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Margaret Chan - Director-general, World Health Organisation

Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun is all too aware that the world can't be changed overnight. 'Working in public health means constantly working for co-ordination and collaboration across all sectors of society with a broad range of stakeholders,' says Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the first Chinese to run a United Nations agency.

11 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

'If a doctor doesn't trust it, what kind of message does that send?'

While the MMR vaccine controversy does not seem to be on parents' radars in the city, they are not immune to scares over vaccinations.

23 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Breathing new life into Blake Garden

Occupying a small, hilly patch of land between Ladder Street in the east, the Tung Wah Hospital in the west, Hollywood Road in the north and Bonham Road in the south, the Blake Garden area might be up-and-coming today, but that wasn't the case for most of the past century.

27 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

WHO advisers ought to be on same page

The Sars outbreak in 2003 left question marks over the responses and judgment of Hong Kong and world health authorities. This city learned painful lessons from failure to heed early warnings of a deadly, highly contagious virus, or to take effective steps to stop it spreading from hospitals to the community, or promptly quarantine infected buildings.

14 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

Two elderly men die from flu

23 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Woman, 63, dies from swine flu

22 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Three more elderly patients die of swine flu

Three more elderly people died of swine flu yesterday, the highest daily toll of the outbreak, bringing the number of fatalities since late December to 17. The elderly patients succumbing due to continued deterioration of clinical condition included a 71-year-old man at Prince of Wales Hospital, an 83-year-old man at Queen Mary Hospital and a 64-year-woman at Tuen Mun Hospital.

19 Feb 2011 - 12:00am