updated 5/5/2004 10:29:22 AM ET 2004-05-05T14:29:22

China confirmed three more SARS cases Tuesday, raising to nine the number of people known to be infected in the country’s latest outbreak.

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All are linked to a Beijing research lab where investigators suspect workers caught and spread severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The father of a nurse who treated an infected lab worker, the nurse’s hospital roommate and a person who helped take care of the roommate are the latest confirmed cases, the Ministry of Health said.

They previously were listed as suspected cases. No other people in China are suspected of SARS.

No real answers
The World Health Organization has said the outbreak is not a public health threat but it wants to find out what went wrong with lab safety at Beijing’s Institute of Virology, which keeps SARS samples.

A WHO team in Beijing has interviewed people at the SARS lab and the hospital where the patients were treated.

The experts visited the lab on Tuesday for a second time, said Roy Wadia, a WHO spokesman.

Wadia it may take weeks to find out how two lab workers became infected and spread SARS to others.

“At this moment there are still too many questions and no real answers,” he said.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome set off a global health crisis last year when it killed 774 people worldwide and infected more than 8,000.

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