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WHO Hunts SARS Links from China Waitress to Civets

Public Health SARS 2004

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#1 DWF

DWF

    Dr. Who 1963-89, 1996, 2005-

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 09:11 AM

http://story.news.ya...0/wl_nm/sars_dc

Quote

Doctors of the World Health Organization (news - web sites) on Saturday searched a restaurant in southern China that employed a waitress suspected of having SARS (news - web sites), to find out if she could have caught the virus from civet cats dished up there.

The WHO said it was taking the case of the 20-year-old woman seriously but had yet to see any sign that an epidemic of SARS was about to sweep out of southern China as it did last year.

"This place did have civet cat," WHO spokesman Roy Wadia told Reuters by telephone from the restaurant in the southern city of Guangzhou.

China confirmed on Monday its first SARS case since the world outbreak was declared over in July. The patient, a 32-year-old television producer from the south, recovered and left hospital on Thursday.

Chinese authorities said a gene sample from the man resembled that of a coronavirus found in civets, a local delicacy.

SARS first appeared in southern China and infected about 8,000 people around the world last year, killing about 800. About two-thirds of the cases and about 350 deaths were in China.

Many experts believe the flu-like disease jumped from animals to humans in southern China, and the weasel-like civet, a small mammal related to the cat family, has emerged as prime suspect.

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