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Report American Tourist Being Treated For AIDS-Related Fever

July 12, 1987

BEIJING (AP) _ An American tourist is being treated for a possile AIDS-related fever and pneumonia at a southern Chinese hospital and is seeking U.S. assistance for a flight home, another foreign patient said Sunday.

Contacted by telephone, he said the American was admitted to the Yunnan No. 1 People’s Hospital in Kunmin last month.

He said he was asked by hospital officials to help with telephone calls related to the American’s case that required speaking English.

According to the other patient, the American was hoping the U.S. government would provide a military aircraft, possibly from Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, to fly him to the United States.

He noted the Chinese government would have to approve such a flight. But he said the American could not be evacuated by a commercial plane because it would not be able to provide the necessary medical care and the reluctance of countries to allow the plane to land en route to the United States.

In Washington, State Department spokeswomasn Anita Stockman said she had no information on the case. A Defense Department spokesman, Lt. Cmdr. Ross Kudlick, said of a U.S. evacvuation flight, ″It wouyld involve the State Department making a request.

According to the other English-speaking patient, the American was placed in isolation and had received treatment that lowered his fever.

A Chinese-speaking hospital official, who declined to give her name, said the 37-year-old American was admitted to the hospital June 18. She said his condition has improved.

Efforts to reach U.S. Embassy officials were not successful Sunday.

China has reported only a few cases of the fatal AIDS disease - acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It has announced three deaths and identified the victims as a Chinese hemophiliac who had been treated with imported blood products, a Chinese man who died after returning home to Fujian province from New York, and an Argentine tourist.

China has adopted regulations requiring all foreigners who plan to enter China and remain here for more than a year to be tested for AIDS. They do not apply to tourists who are in the country for less than a year.

AIDS is an affliction in which the body’s immune system becomes unable to resist disease. There is no cure. AIDS was first identified in male homosexuals, hemophiliacs and intravenous drug abusers.

It is most often transmitted through sexual contact. Other means of transmission include transfusions of tainted blood or blood products, and the sharing of contaminated hypodermic needles or syringes by drug abusers.

A blood test can determine if a person has developed AIDS antibodies, meaning they have been exposed to the AIDS virus and could be carriers of the disease. Not all those exposed develop AIDS.

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