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Task Force Formed to Check Atypical Pneumonia in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HA) has set up a task force to curb the spread of a special form of pneumonia that has infected 38 medical staff members in several public hospitals, a spokesman for the HA said Friday.

The HA said the government has been closely liaisoning with Hong Kong's neighbors for information exchange, and has invited the World Health Organization to provide technical support and advice.

The authorities also appealed to the public to stay calm.

Director of Health Margaret Chan said there was no major outbreak of the disease in the community, while Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong said community surveillance showed no sharp increase in the number of cases of influenza or pneumonia in Hong Kong over the past two months.

Yeoh said the HA has further strengthened infection control measures in public hospitals while the Department of Health (DH) would enhance its education and preventive efforts in the private health care sector and community.

As of Thursday, some 24 public medical and nursing personnel hospitalized had shown initial signs of pneumonia, two of them were in serious condition and the rest were all in stable condition.

"The situation is managed in accordance with well-established procedures of infection control," Yeoh said.

Regarding local media's heavy coverage over the disease, the authorities said, "there is no cause for worry on the part of the public."

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2003)

No Sharp Increase of Influenza, Pneumonia in HK
Cause of Pneumonia Outbreak in Guangdong Identified
No Unusual Pneumonia Found in Hong Kong
Lab Aims to Identify Guangdong Pneumonia Virus
Pneumonia Outbreak Subdued
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