Spectre of Sars rises as Singapore confirms case
A medical researcher in Singapore was confirmed to be suffering from Sars yesterday in what appeared to be the world's first case since a global outbreak was declared over in July.
Health officials said a second test on the 27-year-old man, a laboratory technician, had proved positive and samples were being sent to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia for further checks.
The announcement caused alarm throughout Asia and jolted the financial markets, shaving 2.6 per cent off the Straits Times index, its biggest one-day fall since March.
But the World Health Organisation said the case did not fit its definition of the disease under its new guidelines and would not pose a public health emergency. Under the WHO definition at least two people with clinical signs of the disease must be identified in the same environment to count as "probable" cases.
Singapore's Health Ministry said the sick man, a post- doctoral student investigating the West Nile virus at National University of Singapore, posed only a "low public health risk", because he had been isolated quickly. Twenty-five people who had had contact with him were in quarantine.
Khaw Boon Wan, the acting Minister for Health, said: "Regardless of what the WHO's definition is, I can't ignore the fact that this is a Sars case."
How the man caught the virus was unclear. He was not involved in Sars research, had no known contact with Sars patients and had not travelled outside Singapore recently.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...