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SARS case in lab worker

Taiwan man working in military lab contracted the virus in early December

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)

The World Health Organization has confirmed that it has received a report from Taipei that a 44-year-old male lab worker has been infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The news has raised fears once again that another outbreak of the disease could originate from a lab.

Tests conducted in two Taiwan laboratories confirmed the presence of SARS coronavirus in the lab worker, the agency said on Wednesday (December 17), but tests in a WHO reference and verification laboratory have been recommended for confirming the results.

At the moment, this appears to be an isolated incident, but all contacts are being followed.

“This incident illustrates that SARS presents a continuing threat. In the postepidemic period, the greatest risk from SARS may be through exposure in laboratories where the virus is used or stored,” WHO said in a statement. “For this reason, WHO urges countries to conduct an inventory of...

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