SARS is a severe strain of coronavirus that quickly spread around the world in early 2003. During the outbreak, which originated in China and spread to 26 countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, approximately 8,000 people were infected and the mortality rate was 9%. However, this rate was much higher with people over the age of 60. Scientists trace the origins of SARS to bat-infected civet cats most likely sold at a wild animal market in China, but the majority of the transmission was human-to-human. Overall, nearly 800 people died. As of 2004 the SARS virus seemed to have been contained.