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Hong Kong scientists believe SARS virus is spread by African wild cat - viverra - 23 May, 2003

Hong Kong scientists have established that the source of the virus responsible for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is the African wild cat - the viverra.

Experts said on Friday that they had successfully isolated the type of coronavirus which causes SARS and whose vector is the African viverra.

The head of the microbiology department of Hong Kong University, Yuan Kuok-yong, said that cats and other animals for games or food should be grown, culled and sold under careful control in order to prevent infection of humans with SARS.

His research group had earlier said that SARS had animal origins, but the scientists were not then sure of the kind of animal that produced the virus.

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