This study estimated case fatality rates in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing using the number of new admissions, deaths and discharges by cure. To determine the relationships between the hazard for death and that for cure, a cure--death hazard plot was developed. The daily ratios of the two hazards determine the ultimate case fatality rate. The case fatality rate was approximately 18% for Hong Kong and Singapore, while the rate for Beijing exceeded 52% until 5 May, was 16% for 5-19 May, and 4%-1% after 20 May. These results show a significant difference in the case fatality rate between Beijing and other areas, which seems to have been due to the difference in treatment methods. That is, it suggests that combining traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine is useful in the treatment of SARS.