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7 more Hong Kong patients treated for mystery disease

7 more Hong Kong patients treated for mystery disease

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's health and food secretary said Sunday that seven more people are being treated for a possible viral pneumonia.

With the newly reported cases, authorities believe a total of 15 patients in Hong Kong may have contracted a mysterious respiratory disease that has infected at least 44 people in the mainland Chinese city of Wuhan. As of Friday, 11 of the 44 were in critical condition.

The outbreak, which emerged last month, has revived memories of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic that started in southern China and killed more than 700 people in mainland China, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Hong Kong health chief, Sophia Chan, said the seven newly reported patients were in stable condition. Hospitals and doctors have been directed to report cases of fever in any one who has traveled to Wuhan in the past 14 days, she said.

The hospital authority said it has activated a “serious response” level to curb spread of the infection. Chan warned Hong Kong residents against visiting wet markets and eating wild game in mainland China.