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Suspected SARS case in Beijing


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Only a handful of SARS cases have been reported in China since the epidemic was declared over last year.

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BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China has reported a suspected case of the potentially deadly SARS virus in Beijing for the first time since an outbreak of the contagious disease subsided in July.

A 20-year-old female nurse fell ill with SARS symptoms on April 5 and was admitted to hospital two days later, China's Health Ministry said in a report from the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The woman had a cold, fever and a cough. Five others have been isolated for observation, the report said.

"Five people who had close contact with her have fever and other symptoms," Xinhua quoted the health ministry as saying.

Also, 171 people who have had some form of contact with her are under observation, the report said.

SARS first emerged in southern China late 2002 and spread throughout the world, infecting around 8,000 people and killing over 770.

Since last July only four cases have been reported in China, all in the southern Guangdong province. All four patients recovered.

Two other scientists researching the mysterious disease in Taiwan and Singapore also contracted the disease. They also recovered and no other infections were reported.

The six cases have been the only confirmed infections since the World Health Organization declared the epidemic over last year.

Beijing was one of the cities hardest hit by the SARS outbreak that killed 349 people on the Chinese mainland.


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