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SARS patient recovers in urbanites' calmness to virus
( 2004-01-06 22:35) (Xinhua)

The 32-year-old television producer in south China's Guangdong Province who has been confirmed as a SARS patient has fully recovered and will be discharged from hospital on Thursday.

Tang Xiaoping, president of the No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangzhou, the provincial capital, where the man has been treated since Dec. 24, said, "The patient has had a normal temperature since Dec. 24."

The man had met the three standards set for a SARS patient to be discharged from the hospital in China: disappearance of shadows on the lungs, loss of accompanying symptoms and no fever for over a week.

The man complained of a headache and fever on the night of Dec. 16 and was admitted to an isolation room at the No. 1 Hospital of the Guangzhou-based Zhongshan University on Dec. 20.

The patient was initially diagnosed as having pneumonia in the lower right lung and was transferred to the No. 8 People's Hospital on Dec. 24

Tang said the patient had almost no fever when he arrived at his hospital, despite the headache and fatigue, plus obvious disorders with the digestive canal, nausea, chest discomfort, shortage of breath and a slight cough.

The patient's condition has improved daily since he received conventional treatment from a team of 20 or so medical workers at Tang's hospital, including antibiotics and support treatment to prevent complications.

No oxygen inhaler or hormone was used in treating the patient, said Tang, who added that medical workers had also conducted psychological treatment to help relieve the man's anxiety.

Tang hoped society would embrace the man and let him return to a normal life as soon as possible.

Urbanites calm in face of SARS threat

Most of China's urban residents are keeping a cool head in the face of a possible resurgence in SARS, a recent survey showed.

The survey showed 45.4 per cent of the respondents are "not afraid of" the return of SARS as they believe that government measures and an improved medical system put the nation in a good position to fight the disease. But 25.4 per cent say that they remain "a bit worried.''

The survey was conducted by the Market-Expert (Shanghai) Consultant Corporation among around 2,200 families in nine major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Meanwhile, 66 per cent of the respondents said they will "definitely" take preventive measures, such as keeping windows open, wearing masks, washing hands frequently and sterilizing household items, if SARS returns and only less than 10 per cent say they will not take any measures.

The public's attitude is "generally positive," said Wu Bing, a senior executive of Market-Expert. The majority of the respondents have "a sober mind and are vigilant but optimistic."

Respondents' optimism mainly comes from their belief in the effectiveness of the government in handling the outbreak last year and the public's knowledge about the prevention of the disease, Wu told China Daily.

A more reliable system incorporating governments, public organizations and volunteers should be put into place to prevent and control any possible crisis in the future, he said.

Interestingly, an overwhelming majority of respondents also admitted that they have changed their bad habits, such as spitting and throwing rubbish in public, according to the survey.

A total of 68 per cent of the interviewed families said that they had kept washing their hands often since last Spring.

But, at the same time, some good habits that had been introduced during the SARS outbreak period such as eating separately instead of picking up food with chopsticks in the same dish did not last long.

A recent report by Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News said that few customers at local large-scale restaurants eat separately.

In late last May, however, more than half of customers at Shanghai-based famous Chinese food restaurant chain Merrylin asked for their food to be divided for each diners , said an earlier report by Shanghai Economic Commission, which had been encouraging such good habits.

"In our company, we only ate separately during the SARS period, last May and June, but not after SARS disappeared,'' said Xue Kefeng, a lawyer with Shanghai Joinway Law Firm.

From mid-July, most lawyers with the firm began to give up such habits when having meals with their customers, Xue told China Daily.

"It always seems awkward when we eat Chinese food separately,'' Xue said.

The survey by Market-Expert was conducted from late last September, when Singapore rediscovered the first SARS case, until the end of December.

The results of the survey came out at the same time yesterday as people's fears rose over a possible return of SARS after a sufferer was discovered several days ago in Guangzhou.

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