May 12, 2004 (CIDRAP News) Five SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) patients have been released from Chinese hospitals this week, leaving only two still hospitalized with the disease, according to reports from China.
Xinhua, China's state news agency, said two women were released from Ditan Hospital in Beijing today after recovering from the disease. The two are an aunt of the 20-year-old nurse surnamed Li, who was released from the hospital May 4, and a patient surnamed Xu.
Li's parents were released from Ditan Hospital yesterday, the Associated Press (AP) reported. They had been in the hospital since Apr 22.
The first patient in the current outbreak, a 26-year-old graduate medical student surnamed Song, was released May 10 from a hospital in her home province of Anhui, the AP reported. She had been in the hospital since Apr 4.
Song is believed to have contracted the virus while working in a National Institute of Virology laboratory in Beijing in March. Li fell ill after caring for Song in a Beijing hospital from Mar 29 to Apr 2; later the virus apparently spread from Li to five other people, including her parents and aunt.
Xinhua said two SARS patients remain in Ditan Hospital. One is recovering, while the other has additional diseases and is to be transferred to another hospital, according to Mao Yu, president of the hospital. The report did not name the patients. One patient whose release has not yet been announced is a 31-year-old man who works in the virology lab where Song worked.
Nine people have had SARS in the current outbreak. Song's mother died of the disease Apr 19.