New suspect SARS case reported in southern China
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New suspect SARS case reported in southern China

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      Thursday, January 08, 2004, 17:07 EST (05:07 PM EST)


      On January 8, 2004, the Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a suspect case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in a 20-year-old woman who works in a restaurant in Guangdong Province, China. A notice describing the new suspect case is provided below and is available on the WHO website at

      According to a Chinese MOH surveillance report and the WHO notice, the woman reported feeling discomfort on December 25 and had onset of fever on December 26. She was admitted to a hospital in Guangzhou city on December 31 and was transferred to an isolation room for treatment. On January 7, a panel of Chinese medical experts made a diagnosis of suspected SARS, and the patient was transferred to another hospital in Guangzhou city. She is reportedly in stable condition and has remained afebrile for the past 7 days. All 48 identified close contacts and 52 other contacts have shown no signs of illness to date. Additional epidemiologic investigations and laboratory studies are under way.

      This is the second recent report of SARS in Guangdong Province. On January 5, the Chinese MOH and WHO announced that laboratory test results had confirmed evidence of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in a 32-year-old man in Guangdong Province, China. He remains in good condition, has been discharged from the hospital, and all 81 identified contacts are reported to be well. Chinese government authorities have initiated several measures to minimize contact between humans and animals thought to carry SARS CoV, including the culling of masked palm civits and related wild-animal species. The culling is expected to be completed within the next few days.

      No link has been established at present between the confirmed case and the new suspect SARS case, and the source of exposure for both cases is unclear. A WHO team is traveling to Guangdong Province today to join Chinese MOH officials in conducting an expanded epidemiologic investigation of the confirmed case; activities will include searching for other human SARS cases and attempting to identify potential sources of animal-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV.

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