Argentina Checks Woman for Deadly
March 21, 2003 01:44 PM ET
Argentina (Reuters) - A 36-year-old Argentine woman was rushed
to hospital off a flight from Rome on Friday after showing
symptoms of what could be a mysterious deadly pneumonia
spreading fear across the world, officials said.
No confirmed cases of the pneumonia, which has killed at
least 10 people in an outbreak that reached from Hong Kong to
Germany to Canada and the United States, have surfaced in
An Argentine Health Ministry spokesman said the rest of the
passengers on the Air France flight were checked by doctors on
arrival. They were deemed free of symptoms and allowed either
to continue their journeys in Argentina or take the same plane
on to Santiago in neighboring Chile.
"She has symptoms which are compatible with a severe
pneumonia," said Health Ministry spokesman Ricardo Persoli,
saying the unnamed woman was still undergoing checks. "This
case does not yet pose risks to the rest of the population."
Doctors said the woman was being treated in isolation.
It was not immediately clear how many people had arrived on
the flight. Air France officials declined to comment.
World health officials have failed to isolate and identify
the germ or germs involved in the outbreak. The infection is
known as severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The World Health Organization has reported a total of 306
cases worldwide, but its figures excluded an outbreak in China
that may have been the source of the infection. Five people
died in that outbreak, making the potential global death toll