Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Taiwan, China

17 December 2003

Disease Outbreak Reported


The public health authorities in Taipei have reported to WHO a single case of infection with SARS coronavirus in a senior research scientist. The infection appears to have been acquired in the laboratory. The researcher had earlier travelled to Singapore and became ill the day he returned to Taiwan.

A full investigation of the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of infection and the procedures in the laboratory is currently underway. The results have been confirmed on multiple samples in two other laboratories in Taipei. As recommended by WHO (Summary of the discussion and recommendations of the SARS laboratory workshop, 22 october 2003 ), such results should be verified by an external laboratory in the WHO SARS International Reference Laboratory Network to be considered fully confirmed.

All contacts are being traced and will be followed up by the health authorities.

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