Update: Utah Boy in China Has SARS

Update: Utah Boy in China Has SARS

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The six-year-old Utah boy left alone in Shenzhen, China, when his father died of the flu-like illness sweeping Asia, is ill with a mild form of severe acute respiratory syndrome, his family said Friday.

On Thursday, Mickey's half-sister Michelle Salisbury said the boy didn't appear to have SARS, the disease that killed his father, James Salisbury, on Wednesday.

It turns out Mickey has had a mild case all along, Salisbury said, adding the confusion was due to miscommunication between the family and the boy's doctors.

"They say that he's stable. They say he's in good condition. He is happy he's playing," she said. "He's responding well to treatments. He has a very mild case.

The boy is being closely watched at Teun Mun hospital in Hong Kong, Salisbury said. Representatives from the local branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are acting as the boy's guardian.

Mickey is able to talk to his mother every day, Salisbury said.

The church has provided translators, assistance communicating with doctors and the family, and a steady rotation of visitors.

The boy will be in quarantine for 23 days before he returns to Utah, Salisbury said.

"We will make sure that he doesn't travel until they are 100 percent sure he is not carrying the virus," she said.

James Salisbury moved to China with Mickey about a year ago to teach English. His wife, who has asked not to be named, and five-year-old triplet girls stayed in Orem, Utah, but had considered joining him in Shenzhen. He also had four children from a previous marriage.

Salisbury worked as an adjunct professor at Utah Valley State College, and had traveled and lived in China for the last 16 years.

The family has set up a fund for donations at Zions Bank.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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