Preliminary tests showed that China's first suspected SARS case in six months may have the coronavirus linked to the disease even as the WHO said it was waiting for more results to come in.
"There is a possibility that the patient may have contracted the SARS coronavirus," Xu Ruiheng, deputy director of the Guangdong centre for diseases prevention and control, said on Hong Kong cable television, citing results from viral gene sequencing.
A 32-year-old television worker is suspected to have contracted Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), sending ripples through a region that was severely affected by the mystery virus last year.
The WHO, which is working closely with Chinese authorities, said it could not confirm the finding, as details of the Guangdong tests had not been shared with the WHO.
Earlier this week, Guangdong health bureau spokesman Feng Shaoming said local tests showed the patient had been infected with SARS, but the health ministry said it wanted to carry out further tests.
The ministry's daily SARS report on Friday said the patient remained in stable condition.