SARS first appeared as a new disease in Southern China in November 2002, and then over the next few months spread to various countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, Singapore and Vietnam.
New Zealand reported one probable SARS case in April 2003, with no further cases since then.
The SARS outbreak was declared over in July 2003. More than 8000 cases and 774 deaths were recorded. There are currently no known SARS-affected regions worldwide. However, global surveillance continues by the World Health Organization and other international agencies.