Guangdong has a new suspected SARS case

SARS check in Beijing
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.

"A 20-year-old female restaurant waitress is suspected of having the ailment after tested by a group of experts in Guangzhou Wednesday," according to the report.

The patient is from central China's Henan province. She was sent to the Zhenggu Hospital in Guangzhou's Yuexiu Disctrict 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.

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

Forty eight people have been quarantined for close contact with the suspected 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.

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 he may be discharged from hospital if his temperature drops under 38 C in 12 hours after treatment.

In another latest development, the 32-year-old freelance TV worker in south China's Guangdong Province who was the first confirmed SARS patient in China's mainland after the spring outbreak of the epidemic in 2003, left the hospital Thursday morning.

The patient surnamed Luo complained of a headache, fever and cough on Dec. 16 and was admitted to an isolation room at the No. 1 Hospital of the Guangzhou-based Zhongshan University on Dec. 20.He was transferred to the No. 8 People's Hospital on Dec. 24, and has had a normal temperature ever since.

Luo was confirmed to be a SARS patient on Jan. 5, but his condition improved daily with the conventional treatment from a team of 20 or so medical workers at the No. 8 People's Hospital, including antibiotics and support treatment to prevent complications.

All of the 81 people Luo had had contact with, including 42 close contacts, did not show any symptoms of the disease, and the last one was expected to be discharged from isolation Thursday, after a two-week quarantine.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---