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New Deadly Diseases Emerges in Asia - 2003-03-18


World Health officials are warning people about a deadly, pneumonia-like illness. Robert Raffaele reports scientists are focusing on Asia as a possible origin of the disease.

Hospitals and airports around the world are on alert for people who might be infected with what doctors are calling, severe acute respiratory syndrome. Those who have become sick and died were infected in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore.

Some of the victims were travelers from Canada and Germany. The disease has not responded to traditional antibiotics, which has concerned scientists because the illness is highly contagious and airborne.

The World Health Organization issued an emergency travel advisory. It warns travelers to be on guard for symptoms such as high fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Dr. Yeoh Eng-Kiong is Hong Kong’s Secretary for Health, Welfare, and Food.C

DR. YEOH ENG-KIONG, SECRETARY FOR HEALTH, WELFARE, AND FOOD, HONG KONG “But we need to try to get more information to see whether all these cases that have been reported are common. Because we have been in contact with some of the other health authorities, we think some are probably not related. ”

China’s Health Minister, Zhang Wenkang, told reporters Monday, world health investigators are searching areas of southern China , which has been a breeding ground for new strains of influenza.

NATURAL SOUND, SOUND UP OF WENKANG

The United States Center for Disease Control has dispatched scientists to Hong Kong and other Asian countries to assist in the investigation. The CDC hopes to release its initial findings later this week.

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