After nine days of repetitive
tests, the suspected SARS case in Guangdong Province, a
32-year male freelance television producer, was confirmed as
having contracted the infectious disease, China's health
ministry said in its website on Monday.
A virus gene sample from a
suspected SARS patient in Guangdong resembled that of a
coronavirus found in civet cats.
The suspected case
was first reported on December 27, and has been treated at
the No 8 People's Hospital in Guangzhou. Since his
hospitalization, the local Guangzhou public health bureau,
the neighboring Hong Kong medical authority and the World
Health Organziation have conducted a string of inconclusive
tests on the patient.
is now the first SARS patient on the Chinese mainland since
the epidemic was contained last July, and also the first one
contracted outside the labs. Earlier, two lab researchers in
Singapore and Taiwan caught the life-threatening virus
All the 81
people that had contact with him had been quarantined but
none showed SARS symptoms by Monday. Twenty-five of them
have been released.