Key developments in the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS:
- HONG KONG: The WHO says an "unlucky" combination of factors caused a major outbreak of SARS in an apartment complex where more than 300 people caught the disease. WHO released a report saying that the disease was spread through leaking sewage pipes and droplets containing the virus appears to have floated up into some units through air drafts.
- UNITED STATES: The country's "weak link" if it had to deal with an emergency SARS outbreak is too little hospital space to treat the disease, said Dr. Julie Gerberding,the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- IRELAND: The Health Ministry said delegations from five SARS-hit countries should not attend next month's Special Olympics, a decision that organizers condemned as an act of discrimination against mentally disabled people.
- CHINA: A doctor with the SARS virus has been arrested for allegedly violating a quarantine and starting an outbreak that infected more than 100 people in a northern Chinese city, police said, in the first known arrest for spreading the flu-like disease. The Health Ministry reported 52 new cases - the fewest since April. Four new deaths also were reported, raising the toll to 271.
- TAIWAN: The island marked its biggest yet one-day jump in infections: 26 new cases. Two more hospitals - one in Taipei and one in the south - were forced to seal off wards to contain outbreaks.
- TRAVEL: As the worldwide death toll climbed to 602, travel executives meeting in the Philippines said SARS has caused more damage to the global airline industry than the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Iraq combined. The industry expects to lose $10 billion this year, they said.
- BLOOD DONATIONS: The WHO also issued new recommendations for blood safety precautions, saying anyone who has been in contact with a SARS patient or been in a SARS-infection region should not give blood for at least three weeks. No one is known to have contracted the disease through contaminated blood.
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