Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a rapidly spreading infectious disease which was transmitted in late 2002 and early 2003 to more than 28 countries through the medium of international travel. The evolution and spread of SARS has resulted in an international effort coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO). We have formulated a discrete mathematical model to investigate the transmission of SARS and determined the basic reproductive number for this model to use as a threshold to determine the asymptotic behavior of the model. The dependence of the basic reproductive number on epidemic parameters has been studied. The parameters of the model have been estimated on the basis of statistical data and numerical simulations have been carried out to describe the transmission process for SARS in China. The simulation results matches the statistical data well and indicate that early quarantine and a high quarantine rate are crucial to the control of SARS.