Rome

Health minister says no reason for alarm over SARS cases

Three cases reported in Tuscany, officials call it mild

Health minister says no reason for alarm over SARS cases

Rome, June 4 - The discovery of several new cases of the SARS virus in Tuscany is no cause for alarm, Italy's Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said Tuesday. "The situation is under control," Lorenzin said after reports of at least three cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus in Tuscany. A number of people who have been in contact with the three patients are being monitored, but they "are all good," she added. The National Institute of Health, along with the national and regional health ministries, are working together on the situation, said Lorenzin, adding that she was in Florence to follow the case closely. The minister added that several other cases of SARS have been reported across Europe. "Therefore, there is no cause for alarmism," she said. "People who have had contact with (the) infected are in fact all well and this is important". Infectious disease experts have said the three cases in Tuscany are mild. SARS is a virus that cannot be treated with antibiotics. It usually causes a high fever and in the past officials have tried to contain its spread with quarantines.

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