New suspected SARS case over the past 24 hours

Chinese officials have reported a new suspected case of SARS in Beijing over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 7 suspected cases and 2 confirmed.

The announcement was made as a World Health Organization (WHO) team began its investigation into how a graduate student was infected with SARS in a Beijing laboratory.

WHO teams, including experts in epidemiology, virology, infection control and laboratory bio-safety, would head within a day or two to Anhui and the laboratory where the transmission chain is suspected to have started

WHO says around 1,000 people are now being kept in isolation and are being closely monitored for signs of deterioration.

WHO also stated that there is still no significant public health threat.

The latest suspected Sars case is a 49-year-old retired doctor, who shared a hospital room with another suspected SARS patient. The Chinese Ministry of Health says the woman is in a critical condition.

There are concerns that infection may still be occurring within hospitals.

They will be tracing back how the original source of this outbreak became infected. She was a graduate student working in a laboratory in the National Institute of Virology.

Those in isolation are in Beijing, and in the eastern province of Anhui, where there is one suspected case.

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