Singapore reports new SARS case

A new SARS has been identified in Singapore, according to health officials.

A new case of the deadly atypical pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), was reported by health officials in Singapore yesterday.

It is the first case since early May.

The World Health Organisation admitted the disease could return.

A local man was tested positive for the coronavirus, according to health spokeswoman Bey Mui Leng.

The official said quarantine orders would be issued to people who came into contact with the man.

The man is believed to have had “occupational exposure” to the respiratory illness.

Director-General Lee Jong-wook of the WHO said: “None of us can predict what will happen later this year. Will SARS come back or not?

“We have to prepare on the assumption that this will come back. Our challenge now is to enhance surveillance networks that will detect and deal with SARS if it does come back.”

SARS spread quickly from southern China in November last year and killed more than 800 people worldwide, infecting more than 8000 in 30 countries.

Researchers claim the virus, derived from wild animals – in the meat of dead civets, raccoon-dogs and ferret badgers – sold as delicacies in Chinav – is genetically similar, 99.8 per cent similar in fact, to the make-up of the killer disease.