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As of 2 April 2003, 2223 cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and 78 deaths have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), a case fatality rate of 3.5% (http://www.who.int/csr/sarscountry/2003_04_02/en/). This is an increase of four to fivefold in the global totals in the last seven days (http://www.who.int/csr/sarscountry/2003_03_25/en/) with the greatest proportionate and absolute increases being in China (Hong Kong and Guangdong Province), and to a much lesser extent in Canada. There has been little absolute rise in other country totals. Eighteen countries have now reported cases but in most of these no transmission seems to have occurred. Local transmission has occurred in Hanoi (Vietnam), Singapore, Toronto (Canada), Taiwan, and the following parts of China: Guangdong Province; Beijing; Shanxi; and the special administrative region of Hong Kong. In the United Kingdom three probable SARS cases have been reported; all have now recovered. Indeed, the only areas where WHO feels there is evidence consistent with current transmission are Hong Kong and Guangdong (http://www.who.int/csr/sarsarchive/2003_02_02b/en/), and the WHO has issued advice to international travellers not to travel to or through either area.


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