Mon, Feb 26, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Civet cat stirs memories of SARS 果子狸勾起SARS回憶

The civet cat, linked by Chinese scientists to the deadly SARS virus is back on the menu in southern China, a state press report said.

Several restaurants have been caught selling civet cat and other wild animals banned by health authorities after the breakout of the infectious flu-like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in late 2002, the China Daily reported.

“It seems that some people are determined to start eating civet cats again since no new SARS cases have been reported over the past two years in Guangdong Province. It's a very dangerous sign,” the newspaper quoted Huang Fei, deputy director of the Guangdong Health Department, as saying.

The newspaper said a recent sweep of Guangdong eateries by health authorities uncovered one live civet cat, 14 frozen ones and 18 frozen pieces of other exotic wildlife.

Officials issued fines of 30,000 yuan (NT$120,000) and temporarily closed some restaurants, the paper said.

The civet cat, a nocturnal mammal similar to a mongoose, is regarded as a delicacy in southern China, but provincial health officials banned them from menus in January 2004 as part of measures to contain highly contagious SARS.

Chinese scientists have said they have proof SARS originates from civet cats, although the World Health Organization has cautioned against drawing definitive links.

After its emergence in Guangdong, SARS quickly spread globally to infect more than 8,000 people and kill more than 800, including 349 in China.

It was eventually brought under control through international efforts such as quarantining victims, health checks on travellers and distributions of face masks. The last reported case in China was in 2004.(AFP)

Today's Word 今日單字

1. sweep n.

全面檢視 (quan2 mian4 jian3 shi4)

例: We made a sweep of all the rooms to check for thieves.


2. nocturnal adj.

夜間活動的 (ye4 jian1 huo2 dong4 de5)

例: The owl, one nocturnal bird, has excellent night vision.


3. contagious adj.

感染性的 (gan2 ran3 xing4 de5)

例: Don't come any closer to me! I'm sick and contagious.


4. quarantine v.t.

隔離 (ge2 li2) 、檢疫 (jian3 yi4)

例: All the passengers on the plane were quarantined due to fears that one passenger had bird flu.


















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