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SARS victim grateful to doctors
( 2004-01-07 23:54) (China Daily)

Hospitalized in an isolation ward, Mr Luo can only see the eyes of doctors and nurses who are covered head-to-toe in protective suits.

"I know nothing about them but I see their eyes, which gives me warmth, strength and confidence," said Luo, the latest confirmed SARS patient in the Chinese mainland, during his first interview with the media.

"They are quite skilled and experienced. They treated me very carefully and installed a shower for me," said Luo in a telephone interview with the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old television programme producer said he might be discharged from hospital today.

"My temperature has kept stable at over 36 C and my appetite is very good now," said Luo, who is now taking lower dosages of medication.

"Sometimes I walk out of the ward to the corridor and enjoy the bright sunshine there. I feel good now."

Luo complained of a headache and fever on the night of December 16 and was subsequently admitted at the No 1 Hospital of Zhongshan University on December 20 in South China's Guangdong Province.

Initially diagnosed as having pneumonia in the lower right lung, Luo was transferred to the Guangzhou-based No 8 People's Hospital on December 24.

"I thought a lot when I was sent to the isolation ward. It was quite a shock to realize that I might have contracted SARS," he said.

"I know many people died from SARS in such isolation wards. This ward is maybe the deathbed of many patients."

However, Luo was back to his normal cheerfulness soon enough thanks to his quick recovery and the comprehensive medical and psychological treatment provided by the hospital.

"The doctors and nurses often have talks with me and tried to ease my anxiety," said Luo.

Luo had almost no fever when he arrived at the hospital but had a headache, fatigue, plus obvious disorders with the digestive tract, nausea, chest discomfort, shortage of breath and a slight cough.

"I'm getting better and better day by day," said Luo, adding that he was well prepared to return to his busy life producing TV documentaries.

"The disease is not that worrisome. I have full confidence in the government and health workers to keep the SARS virus to a minimum."

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the doctors and nurses. They are the most lovely people in the world."

Luo, a man staying alone in Guangzhou never informed his family of his illness but was thankful to his friends who stayed in close contact with him by sending motivational mobile phone messages.

He was relieved to learn that his roommate has not reported any SARS symptoms so far and will be released from quarantine soon.

Still unaware of how he caught the illness, he says he has never touched or eaten civet cats in his life and recalled only having thrown a baby mouse found in his apartment out of the window.

"My colleague told the doctors about me and the mouse, hoping to help them find the source of my infection," said Luo, explaining he has not frequented unhygienic locales or wildlife markets in the last couple of months..

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