Tests of suspected SARS case in China remain inconclusive – UN health agency

31 December 2003

Test results carried out on a suspected SARS patient in China remain inconclusive and further examination is needed to see if he is suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the first possible instance of the potentially deadly disease in six months, according to the latest update by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

Test results carried out on a suspected SARS patient in China remain inconclusive and further examination is needed to see if he is suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, according to the latest update by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

In order to enhance the testing process, the Chinese Ministry of Health has decided to send samples from the case in question to a lab that is part of the WHO international reference network.

The male patient, a 32-year-old television producer, remains isolated in a hospital in Guangdong province, where SARS first emerged in November 2002. From there the disease with flu-like symptoms spread around the world, killing a total of 774 people and infecting more than 8,000, the vast majority of them in China.

International experts from WHO along with Chinese officials are continuing their investigations in Guangdong. The patient's condition is said to be good, and his temperature has been normal for the past several days. All his relevant contacts identified so far are well and some have already been removed from medical observation.

Others remain in quarantine but are expected to be released over the next few days, as the two-week observation period mandated by China's health authorities draws to a close.

 

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