Sun, Sep 21, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Suspected SARS cases turn out to be false alarm

FEVER SCARE Three patients at a hospital in Taipei complained of fever on Friday, raising fears that the dreaded virus had struck again

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three suspected cases of SARS at the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei turned out to be a false alarm, the Department of Health's Center for Disease Control (CDC) announ-ced yesterday.

According to a CDC press release, three patients at the hospital complained of fever late Friday night. The patients had been sharing a room at the hospital.

The hospital's disease control group immediately reported the situation to the CDC for further investigation.

According to the CDC, Polymerase Chain Reaction tests were conducted on Friday to determine if the patients had indeed contracted the SARS virus.

Although initial test results were negative, the CDC yesterday tested the patients again. Test results confirmed that the patients did not have SARS.

The three have been quarantined at the Shin Kong Hospital, but the Department of Health reported that all three patients' fever had abated by yesterday. The CDC said that the patients' initial symptoms differed from that of SARS.

The CDC stressed that the Shin Kong Hospital had acted according to health department regulations.

The regulations stipulate that if two hospital employees or three patients develop a fever within a span of ten days, the hospital should immediately report the situation to the CDC for further tests. The CDC also requests that hospitals regularly take temperature readings of employees and that they keep records of the statistics.

The heightened precautionary measures are geared towards preventing a SARS outbreak during the coming autumn and winter.

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