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WHO Team to Visit Northern China to Probe SARS Outbreak - 2003-05-07


A World Health Organization team is visiting China's Hebei province where cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome doubled to nearly a hundred over the past week.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday its doctors may be able to make a difference in treating an increasing number of SARS patients in China's Hebei province.

Peter Cordingley, a WHO spokesman, says the agency also wants to understand how Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome traveled from known hot spots to distant areas.

"We can't join up the dots between the outbreaks, we don't know how they started. We have numbers without any connectivity between them," Mr. Cordingley said.

The WHO trip to Hebei follows comments by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in state-run media saying poor health care systems in China's rural areas will struggle to cope with SARS.

China has seen more than 44,00 SARS cases and about two hundred deaths.

The death toll is rising in Taiwan, where there are more than 120 SARS cases. Two more people died Wednesday, bringing the total to 13.

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