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SARS found in wild animals

The week's news at a glance.

Beijing

SARS may have jumped to humans from civets, mongooselike animals that are eaten in some parts of China, researchers said this week. Kwok-Yung Yuen, chief microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong, said he had isolated a coronavirus in civets that was almost identical to the one that caused SARS in humans. The first few human cases of SARS occurred in Guangdong province last fall, among food workers who prepared exotic animal dishes. But the World Health Organization said it was too early to tell whether the virus initially spread from animals to humans or from humans to animals. So far, it appears that civets and a few other species that carry the virus do not become sick from it.

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