The Ministry of Health said Saturday that it is making thorough investigation into the cause of recent severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, but the result is not available for the time being.
The Ministry of Health said Saturday that it is making thorough investigation into the cause of recent severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, but the result is not available for the time being. The ministry said the first diagnosed SARS patient surnamed Song was a medical graduate from Anhui Province studying in the Virology Institute under the Beijing-based Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Another SARS patient, a medical doctor with the surname of Yang, also worked in the institute. Shortly after the occurrence of SARS epidemic, an expert team was set up consisting of members from China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and Beijing and national disease prevention and control center. The team has made epidemiological investigations into the two cases and interviewed all the staff working at the laboratory of Virology Institute, the ministry said. The experts also conducted field investigations and collected samples at the laboratory, the ministry said, adding that the samples have been sent to two Chinese national laboratories and a World Health Organization (WHO) network laboratory for testing. However, the expert team believes that more tests should be done on the laboratory samples as well as the samples of the two cases and those infected by them, in order to separate and verify SARS virus and determine the virus sequence. “Therefore, we still need to wait for a period for the final result,” an official with the ministry said. China reported no new SARS infection in the past few days and the ministry said except one SARS patient surnamed Zhang in Beijing, other patients were all in good conditions and recoveringquickly. Beijing’s first diagnosed SARS patient Li has recovered and was discharged from hospital on May 4(Source: Xinhuanet Health News, May 2004)