HONG KONG — Nervousness about the atypical pneumonia outbreak affecting Hong Kong led buyers to shy away from Interstoff Asia, the region’s most important textile fair. Many heeded the words of the World Health Organization, which advised travelers not to visit the territory unless necessary. As of Monday, there were 530 reported cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong and 12 deaths. Authorities here closed all schools for a week and issued a quarantine order for those who have any symptoms of SARS.

For organizers, the effects on Interstoff Asia were devastating. They had been expecting about 10,000 visitors, but by the third day of business it was clear that the number of overseas visitors would be down between 30 percent and 40 percent. Final figures have not yet been released.

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