To: Mother Abigail
1000 quarantined? Very unfortunate that this all originated from a research lab.
posted on 04/26/2004 9:44:20 PM PDT
China has isolated more than 600 people in Beijing as it attempts to sever a chain of infection that leaked from a laboratory and could spread as tens of millions travel the country for the annual May Day holidays.
Four teams of World Health Organization experts were due in China this week to help the government investigate the laboratory accident, to track down people exposed, control infection in hospitals and monitor the situation in the eastern province of Anhui, where one woman died.
The WHO lauded the widening quarantine, saying it showed the government was taking the right steps to check the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome before the week-long public holiday starting on May 1.
Across the country, authorities have stepped up surveillance against the disease, which is highly contagious.
Thailand was screening passengers arriving by air from Beijing as a precaution, a health official said.
The 600 people quarantined, including 24 staff at the national center for disease control, were under collective isolation or confined to their homes, the Beijing News said.
More than 180 staff of the National Institute of Virology, where a medical student who caught SARS is believed to have engaged in research on live samples of the virus, were already sequestered, most at a resort north of Beijing.
(There is mixed reporting on the number of contacts quarantined in Anhui.)
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