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Chinese woman dies from suspected SARS on Moscow-bound train - 3


(Recasts, details nationalities para 2, adds quotes paras 6,7)

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) - A Chinese woman has died from what may be Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) while traveling on a train from the Far East Russian city of Blagoveshchensk to Moscow, a medical source said on Wednesday.

The train was stopped at the Zuyevka station in central Russia's Kirov Region, and 51 Chinese passengers and two Russian train stewards were sent to a local hospital.

The Kirov Region administration said on its website that the Chinese nationals had been quarantined as "the cause of the death of the young woman has not yet been established."

It also said that "all necessary measures" had been taken to prevent the spread of "possible infection."

"The deceased woman, her husband, mother and father, who were all traveling together for [migrant] work, all had a slight temperature," Russia's chief sanitary official, Gennady Onishchenko, told Vesti-24 during a live television interview in Moscow.

Onishchenko also noted that it was impossible to give a cause for the slight fever that could be down to a number of factors, including a change in climate to being in the train so long. The train left Blagoveshchensk on April 11.

The carriage in which the 23-year-old woman was travelling was disconnected from the rest of the train, which then continued on its way to the capital. It is due to arrive in north Moscow's Yaroslavl train terminal early on Thursday.

A spokesman for Russia's sanitary watchdog was unable to confirm that the woman had died from SARS.

"Doctors are currently establishing a preliminary diagnosis," he said.

The Chinese embassy in Moscow has said it has no information on the incident.

The first case of SARS was reported in China in November 2002 and some 800 people died of the disease in the following months. In July 2003, the World Health Organization reported that the disease had been contained. The mortality rate for the virus is approximately 4%.

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