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SARS May Not Originate from China: WHO Official
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) might not originate from China, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said in Guangzhou Saturday.

James Maguire, one of the five-member WHO team currently on a study tour in Guangdong Province, south China, said they had some primary conjectures on SARS but they had not come to a conclusion.

Scientists suspected that the root of SARS virus may originate from a certain kind of animal and it may not originate from China, according to him.

Maguire and his team went to the Medical School of Zhongshan University Saturday morning, where they had a discussion with Chinese experts of virology and lemology who had recently been engaged in treating SARS and visited the laboratory there.

The expert from a disease control and prevention center in Atlanta, the United States, said another important thing the WHO members were working on and also puzzled at is that SARS virus seemed to have different effect on different patients -- some were highly infective, some were not.

Robert F. Breiman, one of the WHO team members and head of the Program on Infectious Disease and Vaccine Science of the Center of Health and Population Research, said the related information and analysis of the SARS cases provided by the Chinese side were true and comprehensive, and the treatment on SARS patients had also been found effective.

He said part of his team's hypothesis had been further proved during their stay in Guangdong in the past three days, adding that it was an important result of their visit.

(Xinhua News Agency April 5, 2003)


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