Feb. 23 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Thursday that there is
no SARS outbreak in China, despite unverified information circulating on the
The Chinese health authorities have clarified that there is no SARS outbreak within its territory, said CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Chih-hau.
The Chinese authorities will provide information to the CDC regarding the rumor on Friday, as its office in charge is already closed, he added.
Many Chinese Internet users have voiced concerns over a possible pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in a military hospital located in Hebei Province, according to a local daily newspaper.
SARS is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that infects the lungs and causes difficulty in breathing. Common antibiotics have proven ineffective against SARS and patients must rely on clinical treatment to recover.
Although the Chinese government has yet to officially deny the rumor, bloggers alleged that hundreds of patients have been hospitalized in isolation wards and at least one has died from the fatal disease, the newspaper report said.
In the past, China's government has records of covering up news about infection cases.
There are so far no reports from Hong Kong, which was one of the areas hardest hit by the SARS pandemic between 2002 and 2003, or the rest of the world.
While customs officials are equipped with sensors to detect a fever, a typical symptom of SARS, Chou said Taiwan has also established more than 1,000 isolation wards and facilities, a lesson learned from past experience.
SARS caused about 70 deaths in Taiwan a decade ago, including a number of medical staff in charge of patients, according to Chou.
"We are taking a precautious attitude toward this,”he said.