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Timeline: January 2004

Jan 4 A genetic expert reports that the TV producer from China might have contracted the new, mutated strain of SARS.
Jan 5 A 42-year-old woman from Hong Kong has returned to Philippines with a suspected case of SARS. She was brought to a Manila hospital and now has been transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Also, the TV producer who has been hospitalized in Guangdong, China has been reported as the first SARS case in China since July. Experts believe Zhengcha animal market in Guangzhou city in southern China's Guangdong province was where the SARS virus may have tranmitted from animals to humans. The government plan to cull 10,000 civet cats after researchers found similarities between the virus in cats and in the SARS patient from Guangdong, China.
Jan 6 WHO (World Health Organization) are alarmed over the China's government to cull 10,000 civet cats. Although it will reduce a chance of a new outbreak, it could eliminate evidence of the origins of the disease.
Jan 7 The Philippine woman doesn't have the SARS virus, according to Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit.
Jan 8 China's only confirmed SARS patient has recovered and been released from hospital, yet a new case of SARS has been reported. A 20-year-old waitress has been hospitalized and placed in isolation in Guangzhou in Guangdong province. People who have contacted the women have been quarantined. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, three television reporters are being tested for SARS after returning from a visit to Guangdong.
Jan 9 WHO has sent a six-person team to Guangzhou to work with Chinese health officials in investigating the reappearance of SARS. The three man Hong Kong crew had visited the Guangzhou city and the hospital where a 32-year-old man who had contracted the virus was treated.
Jan 12 CDC (Center for Disease Control) advises travelers in China to avoid food markets housed with infected civets and animals. Although it is not evident that these animals caused SARS, similar viruses have been found in such animals.
Jan 13 Chinese Ministry of Health (MOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the third recent report of suspected or confirmed SARS in southern China, a 35-year-old man in the Guangdong Province. The source of these three cases is still unclear. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an embargo of civets to United States in fear that the there might be SARS in these mongoose-like animals.
Jan 15 Two Chinese flight attendants arriving from Guangzhou were submitted into St. Vincent's hospital in Sydney. After the two women complained of fever and showed other symptoms, they were submitted to the Sydney hospital in New South Wales. Yet tests have confirmed that they are not infected. For two months, World Health Organization and China Ministry of Health team are joining together in Guangxi Autonomous Region in China to examine the region and support Guangxi's health authorities. Since Guangxi is very close to Guangdong province, the team is assessing the preparedness of the region. Yet note that there had been no SARS cases in Guangxi.
Jan 29 Scientists are traced back to how the SARS virus genetically evolved last year; evidence show that SARS jumped from animals to humans. As a result, China has slaughtered thousands of civet cats, mongoose-like animals to prevent the spread of SARS. Yet scientists do not know if some rodents, who lived in the same markets as civet cats, are the source of SARS and infected civets and humans simultaneously. Evidence has also shown that the outbreak wasn't caused by single specie. Study indicates that eleven people were independently infected in the Pearl River Delta area of Guangdong Province in November 2002. And then the SARS virus underwent rapid mutations, which made person-to-person spread easier.
Jan 31 China's Health Ministry reported a new SARS cases from a 40-year-old doctor named Liu in a southern city of Guangzhou. Liu was ill on January 7 and checked himself into a hospital on January 13.

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