A man was today receiving
treatment in a Birmingham hospital, suffering from a suspected
case of the new pneumonia virus Severe Acute Respiratory
The man, believed to have been in
China a week ago, walked into Dudley Road’s City Hospital yesterday
afternoon. After assessment by medical staff he was transferred by
ambulance to the specialist infectious disease unit at Heartlands
Hospital where he remained last night.
It is only the fourth probable case of
the infection in the country, after a third suspected case was
confirmed in London by the Department of Health on Wednesday
Other cases of the disease have been
treated in Dublin and Manchester since the new strain was detected
in the Far East last week.
Health officials believe the strain
could have originated in South East Asia.
A spokesman for City Hospital last
night confirmed staff had seen a man suffering from symptoms similar
“A patient was seen on Thursday
afternoon with symptoms resembling the current flu-like virus
believed to originate in Asia.
“We were told he had visited China a
week ago. He was immediately put into an isolation cubicle and staff
treating him were issued protective masks.
“The patient has been transferred to
the Infectious Diseases unit at Heartlands Hospital in
Consultant microbiologist at the
hospital, Dr Adam Fraise, said there was no danger to the public who
were in the hospital at the same time. “There is no risk to people
who come into casual contact. We will be monitoring staff who
A spokeswoman for Heartlands Hospital
said last night: “The patient is in a stable condition and he has
been placed in isolation as a precautionary measure.”
At the moment only people who have
been to Singapore, China, Vietnam and Hong Kong are believed to be
The symptoms of so-called SARS are a
sudden onset of fever, shortness of breath, cough or sore throat and
occasionally a rash.
Anyone who is concerned is advised
to consult their GP or telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647.