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SARS fears return to southeast Asia
A man in southern China has been confirmed as having SARS, prompting authorities to order a mass slaughter of civet cats which have long been linked with the respiratory disease.
After a battery of tests, China's health ministry and the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that a 32-year-old television journalist from Guangdong province had the virus, which left around 800 dead and infected 8000 in a global health crisis last year.
"Guangdong province reported one confirmed case of SARS. In the rest of the country there were no suspect, clinically confirmed or confirmed cases," the ministry said in its daily SARS report posted on its website.
The ministry said the patient was in a stable condition and his temperature was normal. None of the 42 people who had close contact with him nor 39 who had normal contact have shown any fever or any other abnormal signs, it said.
The WHO said the case appeared to be isolated for now and it was looking into why the close contacts had not shown similar symptoms.