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Two SARS cases confirmed, one in critical condition
By Shan Juan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2004-04-29 14:36

Two suspected SARS patients in Beijing were confirmed as SARS patients and one is in critical condition, China's Health Ministry said in Beijing Thursday. 

The two, surnamed Li and Teng, are respectively the aunt and mother of Beijing's first diagnosed SARS patient, a nurse from Jiangong Hospital in Beijing. Li is in serious condition while Teng's conditions are relatively stable.

As China is on alert for the recent surge of the virus, China's top SARS expert Zhong Nanshan urged the public do not overreact, saying it's safe to travel in China during the imminent weeklong May Day holiday.

A man wearing a mask opens the gate of a quarantined building containing the laboratory where investigators suspect workers caught and spread SARS in Beijing, April 29, 2004. China has warned foreign visitors to a disease control laboratory in China's capital that it could be the source of the most recent outbreak of SARS, state media said on Thursday. [Reuters]
"The possibility that people infected with SARS would spread the highly-contagious virus once on move during the coming Golden Week is slim." Zhong made the remark at a donation ceremony in Guangzhou.

He explained that the origin of the virus is spotted at the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in Beijing, and there is no hints so far that the virus has been spread to other parts of the nation.

Zhong recommends open-air places to travel and warns not to eat wild animals. "Places with good ventilation should be good choices while those crowded bars and KTVs are not recommended."

China steps up precautious measures at transportation venues nationwide to shut any possibility for SARS spread. Passengers traveling by both air and rail have to undergo temperature checks.

China has reported two diagnosed SARS cases and seven suspected cases in Beijing and Anhui Province. About 1,000 people have been isolated for medical observation.

The CDC Institute of Virology has been sealed and isolated since April 23 due to possible laboratory infection. No staff under quarantine has shown any SARS symptoms.

The suspected SARS patient, surnamed Zhang, is in critical condition, said the Ministry of Health on April 28. Already under isolation in Beijing's Ditan Hospital from the evening on April 22, the patient also reported respiratory distress and other chronical diseases.

Zhang is a 49-years-old retired women doctor. She once shared the same hospital ward for treatment with a young women surnamed Li, Beijing's only diagnosed SARS case.

She was hospitalized for lung infection in Jiangong Hospital on April 12, reported fever on April 19 and transferred to Ditan Hospital on April 22. According to Zhang's clinical symptoms and the epidemiological investigation, she was confirmed to be a suspected SARS case April 27.

The first diagnosed SARS patient in Beijing,named Li, is in relatively stable condition and has had normal temperature for 12 straight days. All suspected SARS patients in Beijing continued receiving medical treatment in Beijing Ditan Hospital.

The SARS patient in Anhui Province, surnamed Song, saw further recovery and reported normal temperature for five straight days.

WHO director-general Lee Jong-wook voiced on April 28 his satisfaction with China's efforts to deal with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which has reappeared in China since April 22.

Speaking to reporters after delivering a public lecture in Singapore on Wednesday, Lee said that he found no excuse to criticize the way China is handling SARS as it has done its best to fight the killing disease, and the outbreak seems to be under control now.

Having experienced SARS last year, China will be more cautious to deal with SARS this time, he said, adding that he has full confidence in China because it is putting all the measures necessary and can handle the disease well.

He is also comforted that China has put some 1,000 people under observation since the first case was found on April 22.

Being concerned that the outbreak in Beijing started at a laboratory researching SARS, he stressed that clearly laboratory transmission is a trend, and this is a very serious situation, people must learn from that.

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