Woman with suspected Sars admitted to hospital in Hong Kong

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The Independent Online

A woman was admitted to a government hospital in Hong Kong yesterday because of fears that she could have Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).

The 34-year-old patient had sought treatment last Wednesday at a private hospital, where radiographic tests showed she had spots in her lungs, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority said. She was taken to the government's Princess Margaret Hospital because the tests by the private doctors cannot rule out Sars. She has been placed in an isolation room for treatment and observation.

Sars broke out in southern China last year and spread to more than a dozen countries, eventually infecting more than 8,400 people worldwide and killing more than 900, including 299 in Hong Kong. The World Health Organisation had declared that the disease was under control in July.

However, last week, a 27-year-old medical researcher was diagnosed with Sars in Singapore, the first case in four months. He is believed to have caught the potentially fatal disease in a laboratory where he worked, and where work on Sars was carried out.

A team of international experts led by Antony Della-Porta, an Australian biosafety, expert is investigating the outbreak and yesterday they visited laboratories in Singapore in a bid to track down the source of infection.

Twenty-five people who came into contact with the Singapore researcher were quarantined at home although none has symptoms of Sars, the Singapore health ministry said.

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