CNN. (2003, May 23). Research: SARS virus came from cat. [Online]. Available: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/05/23/hk.sars.cat/index.html [2003, May 23].
palm civet; SARS; China; bushmeat; trade; diseases
HONG KONG, China -- Researchers in Hong Kong say they might have traced the SARS to civet cats, a delicacy eaten by some Chinese.
The revelation came after a month-long investigation by Hong Kong and Chinese scientists tracking the source of the disease.
To prevent more outbreaks among humans, the cats and other animals should be raised, slaughtered and sold under careful monitoring, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, head of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, told reporters Friday.
"From genetic information, it is highly likely that the virus jumped from civet cats to humans," Yuen said.
Southern Chinese have a particular penchant for eating wild game, including civet cats, endangered snakes and turtles and the masked palm civet is bred in captive in some areas.
The desire for eating exotic animals has triggered markets where traders hawk all sorts of animal species. (Markets 'a viral time bomb')...