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Pneumonia causes panic in Guangdong province

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:416
  1. Lesley Rosling,
  2. Mark Rosling
  1. Guangzhou

    The past fortnight has seen the province of Guangdong in southern China become victim to a serious pneumonia epidemic that seized its people with fear and caused major temporary economic damage but that eventually turned out to have relatively slight medical impact. By last week, there had been eight deaths.

    However, considerable anxiety was created by an “epidemic of rumours.” During the first week of February the public became aware of a mysterious respiratory illness, which apparently had a very high mortality and caused death within hours. Symptoms included cough, fever, and breathing difficulty.

    Rumours abounded about …

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