Health officials claimed that an unidentified virus in Guangdong province that causes pneumonia had been brought under control and that inspectors brought in from Beijing were trying to find the source of the disease, AP reported. The outbreak is blamed for the deaths of five people and for leaving some 300 hospitalised. The disease was first reported in November 2002, but authorities at first did not realise how serious it was.
Before it was brought under control, rumours of many deaths prompted panic buying of antibiotics and shopkeepers took advantage of demand for white vinegar (to use as a disinfectant) by increasing its price.
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