Skip to Content

The 1st New Disease of the 21st Century


Otto Sanchez
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Ontario Institute of Technology


This case study uses a PowerPoint (~1MB) combined with role-playing to present the epidemiology and pathophysiology of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Students learn about the etiology and pathophysiology of the disease, and then argue different health professionals' perspectives on a plan of action for dealing with its consequences. Developed for a pathophysiology course for undergraduates, the case could also be used in a microbiology course or in a course in public or international health.


  • Describe the beginning, spread, etiology, and pathophysiology of SARS.
  • Differentiate the virological features of coronaviruses from other microorganisms.
  • Understand the significance of geography in health and predict the impact of international diseases.
  • Argue different health professional perspectives about one disease.
  • Plan actions to take when confronted with a new severe contagious respiratory disease.
  • Defend their stance regarding traveling to areas with infectious outbreaks.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome; SARS; respiratory disease; infectious disease; contagious disease; contagion; virus; viral infection; coronavirus; pandemic; Foshan City; Guangdong Province; China; Toronto; Canada

Topical Areas

Policy issues, Social issues

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division


PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Interrupted, Role-Play



Subject Headings

Public Health  |   Microbiology  |   Epidemiology  |   Medicine (General)  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.