Between March and July 2003, 671 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) were diagnosed in Taiwan with a total of 84 fatalities. After the epidemic, a serological survey was conducted involving the asymptomatic household contacts. Household contacts of 13 index patients were enrolled in the study. Contact history and clinical symptoms of the household contacts were recorded by standardized questionnaires. Blood samples of patients and household contacts were collected at least 28 days after symptom onset in the index patients or household exposure in the contacts for SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) IgG testing. On the basis of this investigation, 29 persons (25 adults and 4 children) were identified as having had unprotected exposure to the index cases before infection-control practices were implemented. Laboratory evaluation of clinical specimens showed no evidence of transmission of SARS-CoV infection to any contacts. This investigation demonstrated that subclinical transmission among household contacts was low in the described setting.
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