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First Domestic Europe SARS Case Confirmed

The first domestic European SARS case was confirmed by the British Department of Health Monday night, as a German firm begins delivering a new high speed test for the virus.


The latest SARS case has not been a result of international air travel.

The U.K. Department of Health confirmed on Monday night the first case of the flu-like virus, SARS in Europe in a man who had not recently traveled abroad.

All previous SARS infections have been in those who have travelled to the Far East.

The victim – a British businessman – is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit in a London hospital, according to media reports. German firm distributes SARS test

The news comes as a German company has begun distributing a new high speed test for SARS.

The Hamburg-based biotechnology firm Artus, said the test –- which detects the Corona virus, thought to cause SARS –- would show a positive or negative result in two hours.

Inhalt und Verpackung des Erregernachweissystems für die hochansteckende Lungenentzündung SARS

The test (packaging shown right) was developed in under two weeks by the firm, and can detect the virus from throat swabs, sputum or faeces. Normally, tests which detect the presence of antibodies can take between 10 and 20 days to display results.

Artus is distributing the test free of charge to laboratories around the world in the hope of slowing the spread of the deadly pneumonia-like virus.

SARS, which is marked by high fever, a dry cough and breathing difficulties started last year in China and spread to more than 20 countries in recent weeks. It has infected more than 3300 world wide and killed more than 140 to date. Scientists estimate that around 4 percent of those infected with die.

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