10 Apr 2003

Fiji isolates Chinese student in SARS scare

3:46 pm on 10 April 2003

A Chinese national has been admitted and isolated in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Fiji because officials fear he may have Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS.

The Director of Public Health, Dr Lepani Waqatakirewa, says the man will stay in hospital care for at least another 48 hours until tests are complete.

Dr Waqatakirewa says the man is a student from Guangdong province, who came to Fiji to study at a tertiary institution.

He says the isolation is a precautionary measure.

"It's turning out just a suspected SARS case because of the criteria of having traveled to or originating from a SARS area or country. Through our active surveillance on all travelers from the SARS countries we picked him up and had him isolated when he started developing a slight temperature and coughing"

Dr Waqatakirewa says it is the third suspected case of SARS, with the previous cases being dismissed after tests proved they were not infected.