Jan 12, 2004 (CIDRAP News) A 35-year-old man in Guangdong Province has China's third suspected case of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) since the global outbreaks ended last summer, Chinese officials said today.
The man fell ill with a fever Dec 31 and was sent to a hospital Jan 6, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency. He was transferred to No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangzhou Jan 9 and is recovering there, the report said.
Twenty-eight people who had had contact with the patient are under observation and have shown no SARS symptoms, according to an online report by the newspaper China Daily.
Dr. Robert Breiman, a World Health Organization official, said the patient is a shopkeeper, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. The report quoted a Guangdong Health Bureau official as saying the patient had had no direct contact with wildlife before he got sick.
A 20-year-old waitress who also has suspected SARS remained in isolation in No. 8 People's Hospital of Guangzhou today, according to Xinhua. Her temperature remained normal, the report said. No SARS symptoms were reported among the woman's contacts.
A week ago, health officials announced the confirmation of SARS in a 32-year-old television producer in Guangdong. He recovered and was released from a Guangzhou hospital Jan 8.
Because of evidence that wildlife can carry SARS-like viruses, Guangdong health authorities were working to eliminate rats by putting out tons of poisoned grain, the AP story said. Last week authorities reportedly killed thousands of masked palm civetsconsidered a delicacy in Chinaon farms and in wildlife markets.
Meanwhile, WHO investigators were testing environmental samples in their hunt for the source of the infections, the AP reported. They took samples from the apartment building where the producer lives, the waitress's workplace, and a market where wild animals had been sold.