Singapore says lab accident caused SARS case
( 2003-09-23 16:30) (Agencies)
The world's first SARS victim in three months most probably caught the virus in an accident at a Singapore government-run laboratory that researches the deadly disease, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Singaporean medical student tested positive for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome on September 9, initially baffling the government after the World Health Organisation declared a global outbreak of SARS over in July.
A panel of 11 experts from Singapore, the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control, found that the man had caught SARS at an Environmental Health Institute lab where SARS research is done and where the man had studied the West Nile virus.
It cited "inappropriate" procedures at the laboratory, where live samples of the virus had been kept.
"From the result of its investigations, the panel had concluded that the patient most likely acquired the infection in the Environmental Health Institute laboratory where he had worked," Singapore's Ministry of Health said.
"Inappropriate laboratory procedures and a cross-contamination of West Nile virus samples with the SARS coronavirus in the laboratory led to the infection of the doctoral student," it said.
The man has recovered and left hospital.
Health authorities say his case was isolated and posed no significant risk. But it put Asia on alert for a much-feared winter resurgence of the virus that killed more than 800 people worldwide this year, including 33 in Singapore.
Many experts, including WHO scientists and Singapore's junior health minister, had said the lab was the most likely source of the infection, and the confirmation could prove an embarrassment as Singapore promotes itself as regional medical research hub.
|.contact us |.about us
|Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved