Emergencies preparedness, response

New case of laboratory-confirmed SARS in Guangdong, China - update 5

31 January 2004

A new case of laboratory-confirmed infection with the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) has been reported today by the Ministry of Health in China. This is the fourth case (3 confirmed and one probable) detected in China since 16 December 2003.

The new case is a 40-year old director of a hospital and practicing physician from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province who developed symptoms of SARS on 7 January 2004. He was admitted to a hospital in Guangdong with pneumonia on 16 January and placed in respiratory isolation on the suspicion of SARS. He has made a full recovery and was discharged home on 30 January.

In accordance with WHO recommendations for SARS-CoV testing in the inter-epidemic period, the results of SARS-CoV testing performed at the national reference laboratory in Beijing were verified by a WHO SARS International Reference and Verification Network laboratory in Hong Kong.

At present, the source of infection in this most recent SARS case is unknown. The Ministry of Health is conducting an epidemiological investigation into possible sources of transmission and has carried out contact tracing and other public health measures. To date, none of the contacts so far identified has developed symptoms of SARS. The Ministry is also collaborating with WHO China Country Office to further investigate this and the other recent SARS cases in Guangdong province. See Review of probable and laboratory-confirmed SARS cases in southern China.

WHO will continue to closely monitor the situation in Guangdong.