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China Announces New Cases Of SARS - 2004-01-17


China's Ministry of Health says more people hospitalized for several weeks in China's Guangdong province have tested positive for the SARS virus.

China announced Saturday that the number of recent SARS cases in southern China now stands at three. Of the two newly confirmed cases, a 20-year-old woman has already been released, and a 35-year-old man is reported in stable condition.

The World Health Organization spokesman in Beijing, Roy Wadia, says at least two laboratories scrutinized the test results.

"The testing process starts locally in Guangdong. The samples are sent to…labs in Hong Kong in the WHO affiliated network," he said.

The WHO said Friday that the young woman, a waitress, could have caught the disease from wild civets served at the restaurant where she worked.

The new cases raise concerns of another outbreak. The first SARS outbreak occurred in southern China in late 2002, and spread to about 8,000 people worldwide before fading in July last year.

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