The clinical characteristics described by Liu et al are similar to two other reported series, one from Hong Kong (Lee et al10–) and the other from Toronto, Canada (Booth et al11). However, the diagnosis of SARS in the latter two series was based on the case definitions alone. The common symptoms noted in all three series were fever, nonproductive cough, and myalgia. Fever has been found to be almost universally present in patients with SARS. An intriguing finding in the cohort of Liu et al is that the fever in 51 of the 53 patients preceded cough. For the two patients in whom cough occurred first, the patients had a history of chronic cough. By comparison, Booth et al11 reported that 74% of SARS patients had fever as their first symptom, but 9% of patients had cough or dyspnea alone as the first symptom. However, as the diagnosis of SARS in this series was solely based on case definition, there may have been inclusion of patients without the disease. Both studies suffer from the problems of a retrospective evaluation relying on proper documentation and patient recall. Lee et al10 (Hong Kong) did not report when symptoms first occurred, simply the frequency in which they were reported. If fever preceding cough were a consistent finding in patients with SARS, it could be used along with other findings as a clue in initially assessing a patient’s risk for having SARS.