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Guangdong has a new suspected SARS case
( 2004-01-08 15:17) (chinadaily.com.cn)

A waitress in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, was declared a suspected SARS case on Thursday, the second to emerge in the province since the epidemic subsided last July.

The patient is now quarantined in the No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangdong, said a report on the Nanfang Daily.

Passengers who disembarked a flight from Guangzhou, walk beside an infra-red camera as their temperatures are scanned at the Narita airport, east of Tokyo, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004. [AP Photo]
"A 20-year-old female restaurant waitress is suspected of having the ailment after tested by a joint SARS medical team in Guangzhou Wednesday," according to the report.

The patient is from central China's Henan province. She was sent to the Yuexiu District Bone Setting Hospital in Guangzhou's after having a fever from December 26, 2003, according to the newspaper.

The patient was exposed to the public for the first time by authorities on January 5.

Earlier in Hong Kong, Guangzhou Respiratory Disease Research Institute Director Zhong Nanshan said the patient had tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) antibody on her first test. But Zhong added that more tests were to be conducted on the 20-year-old patient to decide whether she was in fact a suspected case or not.

The patient has had no fever for eight consecutive days, said Guangzhou Municipal Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Deputy Director Wang Ming. Authorities have stepped up protective measures for the medical staff.

"Our treatment for her has been exactly the same as treating a suspected case," Xu said. 

Forty-eight people have been quarantined for close contacts with the suspecte case and 52 people put under medical observation for normal contacts. None of them has developed a fever or shown other symptoms of the deadly virus.

"What we have done is only for a perfectly safe purpose so as to avoid even the slightest possibility of another outbreak of the virus," said Xu Ruiheng, Guangdong Provincial CDC deputy director.

The 32-year-old television producer, the only confirmed SARS case contracted out of laboratory since last July, has left hospital Thursday afternoon.

"I've left the hospital," the 32-year-old freelance TV worker surnamed Luo wrote at 1:45 p.m., adding he just wanted to return to his normal life and was reluctant to meet the Press.

About 30 reporters from the domestic and overseas media gathered at the gate of the Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital, where Luo was treated, hoping to catch the first glimpse of him being discharged.

Only one person of the 81 people believed to be in contact with him is still under medical observation.

All of others are said to be healthy, which indicates that there has only been a single case and that chance of spreading was effectively contained, experts said.

Meanwhile, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Health spokesperson Deng Xiaohong Wednesday confirmed that Beijing has no SARS patients or suspected cases so far.

Local public health departments in Beijing have conducted strict measures to prevent the spread of SARS since late last month, when the latest suspected case of SARS was found in Guangdong Province.

Strict temperature monitoring was conducted upon passengers at all municipal entry and exit points, including railway stations and airports. Anybody with temperature of over 37.5 C will be sent to designated hospitals as soon as possible.

A man named Cao Haiwen was sent to a special clinic by an emergency team Wednesday night from the Beijing West Railway Station after medical personnel found him with a temperature of 39.2 C while entering the station. With no other apparent SARS symptoms, Cao was under observation Wednesday night. Doctors said hemay be discharged from hospital if his temperature drops under 38 C in 12 hours after treatment.

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