Whilst the start of the second Gulf War is hogging the headlines, the World Health Organisation reckons its got a grip on the 'killer flu' mini-epidemic. The most recent outbreak has been traced to Hong Kong's Metropole Hotel. The right drugs are now being given to victims but unless Asia is given the all-clear soon, many overseas visitors to the Taiwanese trade show could be cancelling their flights...

Killer virus has been ‘contained’ but Taipei cycle trade show still threatened

Show visitors from Cycleurope in France are as yet undecided whether they’ll risk the trip to Taiwan at the end of the month. Visitors from Nashbar and Performance in the USA have already decided not to go.

However, Simon Wild, a buyer based in Hong Kong wrote on the BikeBiz BBS that European and US would-be visitors to the show should not be worried:

"It should be fine to come out to the show. If there was a serious threat I would have packed up and left already."

The epicentre of the outbreak is in Hong Kong, specificially the ninth floor of the Metropole hotel. Many flights to Taiwan stop-over in Hong Kong.

A medical professor from southern China is thought to have carried the killer disease to Hong Kong.

The flu-like disease – dubbed SARS – is related to an earlier epidemic in Guangdong province, China, which infected more than 300 people and killed five.

SARS is believed to be a virus from the paramyxoviridae family, which are responsible for conditions such as mumps and measles.

The World Health Organisation believes SARS has been contained.


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