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Hong Kong Says It Has SARS Test

June 24, 2003|From Associated Press

HONG KONG — Researchers said Monday that they had developed a new diagnostic test for SARS that has an 80% accuracy rate and can determine the amount of virus carried in a patient's blood.

Scientists at Chinese University of Hong Kong said the test, which detects genetic material of the SARS virus in blood plasma, can help doctors screen patients as soon as they are hospitalized. That gives them better notice as to which ones will need intensive care.

The new screening takes about five hours and can identify SARS patients who do not have fevers, said the doctor who headed the study. A lack of typical SARS symptoms among some patients has been identified as a key factor in the disease's spread.

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