‘SARS patient’ died of pneumonia – state media

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 May 2003, 09:27 GMT]
The suspected SARS patient who died in Jaffna hospital Wednesday morning was suffering from pneumonia, Sri Lankan state media reported Friday. “This patient is believed to have died of a typical pneumonia with secondary infection,” the Daily News quoted a ‘senior health official’ as saying.

However, the newspaper also quoted the senior official at the Epidemology Department as saying "It has not yet been confirmed whether she died of SARS" in reference to the 22 year old patient.

The official added that around 10 patients had died over the last year at the same hospital due to another kind of pneumonia, the Daily News said.

The paper also quoted officials as saying that there was no possible way for this patient to have contact with a SARS patient: " You can't get the virus without contact with an affected person and it has been clear that this patient did not have any contact with such a patient."

“Referring to reports that the patient's relatives had recently come from Canada, the official noted that they were in good health and not been affected by SARS,” the Daily News said, adding Sri Lanka’s Director General of Health Services Dr. Athula Kahandaliyange had flown to Jaffna to conduct an on-the-spot inquiry.

Meanwhile, Jaffna Hospital sources said the room where this patient was treated had been sealed, the paper said, adding that it would be opened within a few days once the tests are over.

 

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