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Health Ministry confirms SARS case in Guangzhou
2004/01/05


  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.

  The case 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 respectively.

  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.


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