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SARS Returns, New Patient Reported in Taiwan

Posted December. 17, 2003 22:38,   


Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the complete end of the outbreak of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, in July, the first patient has been officially confirmed in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese health authorities, including Taiwan`s Center for Disease Control (CDC), announced that a male medical laboratory worker, 44, had tested positive for SARS in a test conducted December 17.

This patient, who studies the SARS virus at a preventive medicine research center of Taiwan National Defense University, seems to have been infected with the virus at the laboratory around December 5, added the CDC.

This patient participated in a conference held in Singapore on December 7. Approximately two to three days after returning home, he began suffering from serious fever symptoms. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, but then underwent a SARS test, which proved to be positive.

The authorities moved him to a special SARS clinic in Taipei to administer medical treatment under quarantine.

SARS broke out in January this year, raging frantically all over the world, particularly China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The disease had spread to at least 29 countries, having a critical impact on diverse fields including tourism, economics and international conferences, until the WHO declared the outbreak over on July 5. According to WHO statistics, approximately 8,000 people had been infected with the virus by July 2003, with 774 patients dead. In Taiwan, 346 cases have been reported, resulting in 37 deaths.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com