Taiwan authorities lodged a protest Thursday with Japan’s health ministry over a report on the World Health Organization’s Web site that a man diagnosed in Tokyo as a probable SARS case is from Taiwan, ministry officials said.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said it told the U.N. health agency Wednesday only that a probable case was found in Japan, and that the ministry has begun looking into what led information about the man to appear on the WHO’s page on severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The man is currently being treated at a Tokyo hospital.

Japan’s Infectious Disease Law requires authorities to give due consideration to patients’ human rights, and the ministry has thus decided not to disclose the age or other information on patients forcibly hospitalized due to suspicion of having SARS.

However, the WHO’s Web page states the purpose of the man’s travel to Japan, as well as his age, and that he is a Taiwan resident. It also says initial tests have ruled out other common causes of severe respiratory disease.

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