22F, Building A, Far East International Plaza
No. 319 Xianxia Road
Shanghai 200051
Tel: ++86 21 6270 0519
Fax: ++86 21 6270 0522

Source: Amcham China and Hong Kong (April 8, 2003)

Precautionary measures taken by some American companies include:

1. Educating and updating employees and clients regarding SARS prevention, detection and infection measures. Requesting employees to inform the company if they get sick, to seek prompt medical care, and not to report for work until a diagnosis is made.

2. Increasing attention paid to office ventilation and cleaning, such as regular office sterilisation. Encouraging employees to improve personal hygiene.

3. Distributing SARS prevention tools to employees, including masks, gloves, Vitamin C, soap, alcoholic tissue, etc.

4. Restricting or banning travel to and from regions identified with SARS. Requesting employees to keep away from crowded locations and to avoid using public transportation. Some companies have canceled or postponed conferences that required traveling

AmCham-Hong Kong representatives just attended an International Business Committee meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary. He advised that resolution of this problem is HKG's number one priority. Dr. Margaret Chan gave an excellent presentation on SARS. She reviewed the chronology of events, statistics, symptoms, linkages with other areas, measures taken by the Department of Health and World Health Organization, prevention and treatment.

Some of the key points:

  • low case fatality - of 734 total cases in HK there have been 17 deaths or 2.3% of the total, as compared to a usual rate of 10 to 15% or this type of problem
  • of the 17 SARS related deaths in Hong Kong, 65% were over age 65 and 82% were already suffering from chronic illness
  • of the 17 deaths only 3 had no medical complications, however, these were patients who delayed coming in for treatment
  • early treatment is imperative - if unattended 8 days the problem can take a sharp turn for the worse
  • the majority of cases were hospital workers, families and patients with close contacts, however, sporadic cases represent about 20% of the total
  • the treatment that has been developed is effective
  • the epidemic curve suggests that SARS cases in HK are coming down and are under control
  • HKG has been completely transparent and is working closely with the WHO
  • casual contact with people, such as at fairs or luncheons, is not a risk


  • outbreak was caused by a new virus
  • close contact with a victim is required for transmission
  • no evidence at this time of airborne transmission
  • incubation is 2 to 7 days, up to 10 days
  • health workers and family members are at higher risk


  • if you do not feel well or have a cold wear a surgical mask!
  • do not shake hands, touch your face, rub your eyes or give a "hugging" kiss
  • do not keep the office or home too cold - at higher temperature the virus is less active (warm weather will kill the virus)
  • wash your hands frequently

Back to SARS page

Page created and hosted by SinOptic Back to the top of the page To SinOptic - Services and Studies on the Chinese World's Homepage