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Date 14 March 2003
In Singapore, in addition to the 3 cases reported yesterday, the Ministry of Health has been notified of 6 other persons who have been admitted to hospital for pneumonia. These persons had been in close contact with the patients who had developed pneumonia after returning from Hong Kong. Of these, two are hospital staff who had attended to the patients. Their conditions are stable. As a precautionary measure, all close contacts of the cases and hospital staff who have attended to the cases, are being monitored closely.

On-going investigations suggest a viral origin. However no causative organism has been identified. The transmission of the infection among the cases in Singapore appears to be due to close contact with the patients who had travelled to Hong Kong.

The Ministry is in touch with the WHO and the Hong Kong health authorities to closely monitor the situation in Hong Kong and Hanoi. Investigations into the cause of the outbreaks are still on going and no causative organisms have been identified.

On 13 March 03, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had started a worldwide surveillance of cases of atypical pneumonia.

The Ministry advises you to seek immediate medical attention if you develop fever, muscle ache and flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty) and have travelled to Hong Kong, Hanoi or Guangdong province in China, within 2 weeks of onset of the symptoms. If you are a close contact of such persons and you develop similar symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention as well.

As a precautionary measure, the Ministry advises you to avoid travel to Hong Kong, Hanoi and Guangdong province in China for the time being, unless absolutely necessary.

See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
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