Health officials said they were closing in on the cause of the
disease, cooperating around the globe and around the clock to
isolate and identify the germ or germs involved.
U.S. health officials said 13 patients in 10 states were being
treated while doctors tried to determine if they had the infection,
known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Hong Kong health authorities said most infections could be traced
to a doctor who treated patients in China before becoming ill and
dying from SARS.
The World Health Organization (news
sites) said 10 people had died -- six in Hong Kong, two in
Canada and two in Vietnam. It reported a total of 306 cases, but its
figures excluded an outbreak in China that started last November and
may have been the source.
Five people died in that outbreak, making the possible global
death toll 15.
In Hong Kong, a school was shut for disinfecting on Friday after
four children tested positive for the disease, a government
Four other people, including 15-year-old twin girls, were
infected by family members working at hospitals, where most of the
173 infections in Hong Kong have occurred.
Of these, 165 are suffering full-blown pneumonia.
The disease is believed to have spread to Hong Kong, Vietnam,
Singapore, Canada, Taiwan and Germany since first showing up in
Hong Kong authorities believe the Chinese doctor infected seven
guests staying on the same floor of a Hong Kong hotel before he
Those seven are believed to have carried the virus to Singapore,
Vietnam and Canada.
The doctor had treated patients in China before contracting the
virus, which experts have identified as being part of the
paramyxovirus family of viruses that causes measles and mumps.