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NEWS - Saturday 22 March
News list 1
RESPIRATORY SYNDROME Researcher is first victim in Thailand
Hospitals to meet in case of outbreak
A World Health Organisation researcher who was
among the first to investigate the outbreak of Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) in Hanoi last week, is the first
victim of the disease in Thailand, according to Bamrasnaradura
Hospital in Nonthaburi.
Dr Urbani Carlo, 40, is
currently in critical condition.
He is being closely
monitored by the medical team.
He entered Thailand on
March 11 and was immediately transferred to the hospital with
flu symptoms and high fever which later developed into
Dr Carlo is being treated in a special glass
room with three layers of doors which have been specially
designed for treatment of patients with special
Health staff taking care of him wear eight
pieces of special protective gear, including a double-layer
Dr Somsit Tansuphasavasdikul, the
doctor in charge of Dr Carlo, said though no confirmation had
been received from specimens of Dr Carlo's phlegm and blood
sent to the US Communicable Diseases Control, his symptoms
matched those of patients having Sars.
condition had been stable for the past few days, though he
showed no signs of responding to treatment.
Carlo's condition deteriorates, he will be put on breathing
Dr Charal Trinvuthiphong, director-general
of Diseases Control Department, yesterday called for a meeting
of about 60 hospitals in Bangkok and neighbouring areas to
plan preparations in case of an outbreak in
The condition of two suspected cases reported
in Nopparat Ratchathani Hospital in Min Buri and in Lop Buri
had improved, he said.
The WHO announced yesterday it
was increasingly optimistic of soon identifying the source of
the illness, enabling scientists to quickly come up with
precise diagnostic tests.
``If a paramyxovirus is
confirmed to be the cause, WHO will be in a much better
position to recommend treatment.
Research was now
focused on the paramyxoviridae family of viruses, which
includes well-known viruses causing mumps, measles and common
The WHO has also established a
cooperative network with two daily teleconferences among the
most affected Asian countries, Europe and North
``Participants are pooling data on cases and
sharing X-rays, at this stage one of the main tools for
distinguishing between suspected and probable cases,'' the WHO
According to the WHO, the antiviral drug
ribavirin had, to some degree, improved the clinical condition
of patients in Hong Kong.
By Thursday night, 306 cases,
including 10 deaths, had been reported in 11
Of these, 42 cases, including one fatality,
were reported in the past week.
The latest cases were
reported in Canada (1), Hong Kong (23), Singapore (3), Taiwan
(1), China (1), the United Kingdom (1), Vietnam (6) and
Though recent media reports referred
to two suspected cases of Sars _ one an airline crew member
and another a passenger travelling on separate flights from
Hong Kong and Taipei to Vietnam _ the cases appear not to be
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