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Mystery Pneumonia Under Control
China yesterday confirmed that it had recent cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Guangdong Province under control.

"The disease is now effectively under control and the patients have recovered gradually and are resuming their normal lives," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said yesterday.

Kong revealed that two officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) and a group of experts visited China in late February and early March to investigate the SARS cases in Guangdong Province.

The illness is an atypical pneumonia that begins with high fever, chills, cough and breathing difficulties and can deteriorate rapidly into pneumonia.

It is reported that the mystery killer has claimed nine lives and infected over 400 people worldwide.

The organization expressed its appreciation of the Chinese Government's handling of the atypical pneumonia cases in Guangdong Province.

The WHO hopes to continue to work with China to prevent and control the disease, according to Kong.

"China will actively cooperate with the WHO," said Kong.

In its press release on Monday, the WHO called upon national health authorities to closely watch for suspected cases of SARS.

According to the WHO, suspected cases have been largely limited to Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, Viet Nam and Singapore.

(China Daily March 19, 2003)

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