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New SARS Alert Issued in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG, Sep 19, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Hong Kong hospital raised a new SARS alert after nine residents of a home for the elderly were treated for fever and respiratory-tract infection.

"We are still awaiting results of further tests," a health department spokesman told ChannelNewsAsia Friday.

All nine were in stable condition at Tseung Kong O Hospital in the eastern Kowloon district, the official said.

This follows a similar severe acute respiratory syndrome alert in which the first stage of a new SARS warning was raised earlier this week.

On Wednesday, seven patients at Hong Kong's Castle Peak Hospital developed high fever and upper respiratory tract infections -- classic SARS symptoms -- but later tests showed flu.

A 34-year-old Hong Kong woman suspected of having SARS was cleared Tuesday by health officials, easing fears of a re-emergence of the disease that killed nearly 300 people in Hong Kong earlier this year.

So far in 2003, SARS was confirmed in more than 8,000 people, leaving more than 900 dead in 32 countries, with 349 fatalities and 5,327 infections recorded in China.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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