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Infectious Disease

SARS May Have Come From Wild Animal Trade

15 years, 3 months ago

1397  0
Posted on Jan 28, 2004, 12 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s health minister Yeoh Eng-kiong has issued a statement saying that a re-emergence of the deadly SARS virus is likely to be triggered by people involved in the trade of wild animals. Experts believe that the virus originated from a civet cat, which is a delicacy in southern China. Various media reports have linked the first known human cases of SARS to butchers and chefs living in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong who had close contact with wild animals such as the civet cat. Despite worries that the virus may re-emerge this winter and pressure from both medical and animal rights groups, the Chinese government have recently lifted a ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals linked to SARS. The SARS outbreak earlier this year killed approximately 800 people in 30 or so countries. Hong Kong was the worse hit with nearly 300 deaths. Hong Kong is determined to be ready for another outbreak of the disease and is preparing facilities to hold up to 1,700 isolation beds at 14 of its major hospitals.
 
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 22nd September 2003.

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