By and and and  on March 31, 2003

The spread of the mysterious pneumonia virus in Hong Kong and southern China has begun to wreak havoc on the areas’ vital textile and apparel industries, while American industry executives grow increasingly nervous about traveling to the region.

The World Health Organization advised travelers to avoid the region unless absolutely necessary and many countries issued travel advisories to their citizens. As of Friday, the outbreak of atypical pneumonia, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, has infected 319 and killed 10 in Hong Kong. In China, which was originally reluctant to admit any instances of the disease, officials have reported 800 cases and at least 34 deaths.

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