http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/12/17/sars.singapore/ Singapore quarantines 70 over SARS fears December 17, 2003 Posted: 9:07 AM EST (1407 GMT) CNN SINGAPORE --Dec 17 6:17 AM 1 of 1View Sourcehttp://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/12/17/sars.singapore/
Singapore quarantines 70 over SARS fears
December 17, 2003 Posted: 9:07 AM EST (1407 GMT)
SINGAPORE -- Singapore's health ministry has ordered 70 people who
possibly came into contact with a Taiwanese SARS patient to be
It announced the move Wednesday after Taiwan authorities confirmed
that the Taipei researcher who traveled to Singapore earlier this
month had tested positive for the lethal respiratory disease.
Officials urged Singapore's hospitals to increase vigilance but said
there was no sign of new cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
in the country.
It said the 70 could have been exposed to SARS through contact with
the 44-year-old man when he visited Singapore for a medical
conference between December 7 and 10.
Those who may have come into contact with him must stay at home until
December 19 -- the length of the incubation period of SARS -- and
will be monitored by telephone, the ministry's statement said.
The Taipei man is the second person to catch SARS since the World
Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak over in July.
He showed no signs of a fever when his temperature was checked at the
airport in the afternoon, but he became sick later in the evening,
according to Taiwan's Center for Disease Control (CDC). (Full story)
The researcher immediately quarantined himself at home, and there
seemed to be little risk of infecting the public, Chen said according
to The Associated Press.
Chen said passengers on the China Airlines flight on which he
traveled should not be alarmed because SARS is not believed to be
contagious until the onset of a fever.
Singapore, which has taken stringent precautions to avoid a
recurrence of the disease, was quick to clarify there were no signs
of SARS cases or infections, according to Reuters reports.
Nevertheless, stocks in Taiwan fell as much as two percent on the
news, and Singapore shares dipped by about one percent.
'Hurrying to complete experiment'
Since developing a fever on December 10, none of the researcher's
relatives or colleagues has developed SARS symptoms, Chen said.
The man's wife, two children and father have been quarantined at
home, the CDC said. Six colleagues who went to Singapore with the
researcher have also been quarantined at home.
Health officials said on Wednesday the worker has been transferred to
Taipei's Municipal Hoping Hospital, where he is in stable condition
and having no trouble breathing.
All Taiwanese laboratories researching SARS have been closed, CDC
chief Su Ih-jen said, and officials suspect the worker became
infected in his lab.
"The patient had an accident in his lab on December 5 because he was
hurrying to complete an experiment before going to Singapore," Su
Taiwan had the world's third-worst outbreak of SARS this year, with
674 cases and 84 deaths, but no new cases were reported after June.
SARS killed more than 800 people in nearly 30 nations, and
authorities have warned there could be a resurgence of the virus in
the Northern Hemisphere winter.
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