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Chinese scientists say fruit fox is primary carrier of SARS
The Epoch Times
11/26/2004

Experts of the Guangdong SARS Science and Technology team issued the “Guangdong Province SARS Prevention and Cure Research” scientific report at the authentication conference on Oct. 10 suggesting that the fruit fox is the main carrier of the SARS virus.

According to a ChineseNews.Net report on the Oct. 11, this report was compiled through the cooperation of more than 40 experts and 100 scientific researchers in more than 30 units in Guangdong province, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Harbin. It was presented by Zhong Nanshan, general counselor of the Guangdong provincial SARS Prevention and Cure scientific team. This team was established one year ago, and now has made significant breakthroughs in pathology, epidemiology, diagnostic reagent, tracing of animal sources, clinical cure and illness prevention.

Academician Zhong Nanshan reported that this report is the first in the world to define the initial symptoms of SARS, which are: 1) acute fever; 2) change in sternum noted by X-ray image; 3) leukocytes being normal or decreased in early examination, and; 4) close contact history with sufferer/no evident effect with antibacterial medicine therapy. The report has gained recognition from the National Sanitation Department and the World Sanitation Organization.

Through scientific research, SARS, which was first reported in Guangdong from 2002 to 2003, has a latent period of 1 to 12 days, with an average of 4.5 days. This provides important information for proper implementation of quarantine of people who have close contact with those infected.

Another important discovery is that it outlines the first case linking the SARS virus to animals, which means that SARS has a probable widespread animal infection rate. Experts determined that the Hong Kong University and Guangdong scientific research was first to reveal the SARS corona virus in animals. Currently, many kinds of wild animals, such as birds, bats, the pangolin, fruit fox, fox, macaque, hedgehog and field mouse, as well as some domesticated animals, have a positive reaction through examination of serology or PCR tests.

Experts of the Guangdong SARS Prevention Science Technology Group made the conclusion again at the conference that the research indicates that the fruit fox is the main carrier of the SARS corona virus. Experts determined consistently that it is the main animal host of the parasitic SARS virus, and is the wild animal most likely to be infected with the SARS virus.

In addition, experts identified the criterion for the earliest clinical diagnosis used in Beijing and Hong Kong, which resulted in a 95 percent accuracy in diagnosis. These included: a close contact history or group disease or infection of others; fever related symptoms; leucocytes being normal or decreased; chest X-ray image changes and the lack of response to antibacterial medication therapy.


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