Suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome in Guangdong Province, China - December 2003
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Suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome in Guangdong Province, China - December 2003

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    Monday, December 29, 2003, 15:35 EST (03:35 PM EST)


    On December 26, 2003, the Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a single case of suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome (SA RS) in a 32-year-old man in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Two notices describing the Chinese MOH report are available on the Web site of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific (the text of the update posted on December 29 and the initial announcement of December 27 is provided below).

    According to the Web site, the patient developed a fever and headache on December 16. On December 20, he sought medical assistance and was diagnosed with pneumonia on the basis of his symptoms and chest x-ray changes in the lower right lung. Laboratory testing carried out at three Chinese laboratories has indicated the possibility of infection with SA R S coronavirus (SA RS CoV), but the results are inconclusive. WHO has advised that additional testing of specimens be conducted at laboratories outside of China for international verification of the results. The patient is reported to be in isolation in a Chinese hospital and in stable condition. All relevant human contacts of the patient have been identified and tested and are doing well. Preliminary epidemiologic investigations indicate that, in the 2 weeks prior to the onset of symptoms, the patient had no known contact with high-risk groups, such as health workers or animal handlers. The source of the suspected SA R S coronavirus infection is therefore unclear at this stage.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in close communication with the World Health Organization (WHO) about this case. Additional information will be provided as more is learned about the situation.

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