About 300 survivors of a deadly outbreak of SARS in China in 2003 are now suffering from serious after-effects, possibly due to aggressive hormone treatment to save their lives, the Beijing News said on Friday.
Severe Acute Respiratory Disease, or SARS, was an unknown disease when it first struck in late 2002. Initially covered up by the Chinese government, it spread rapidly from south China to other cities and countries in 2003, causing public panic.
The most common complaints of the survivors are hip problems due to bone thinning, depression, and fibrosis of the lungs that makes breathing difficult.
China's Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment, asking that a fax be sent.
The last human case of SARS was in June, 2003. Over 8,000 people came down with the disease, and 775 died.
The SARS experience has been credited with inspiring a more transparent health reporting system in China and prompting better emergency preparedness.