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Four new suspected Sars cases in Switzerland

More than 2,000 people in China are suffering from Sars

(Keystone)

Four new suspected cases of the pneumonia-like Sars virus have been registered in Switzerland.

The victims are two women and two children who had all recently been in Hong Kong.

One of the suspected cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a 46-year-old woman from the eastern part of the country, while the others - a 34-year-old woman and two boys are aged five and three - are from central Switzerland.

The Federal Health Office said the younger woman and one of the children were already on the road to recovery, while the other two were in a stable condition.

The latest incidences bring the total number of suspected Sars cases in Switzerland to 23. Currently there are eight people in the country waiting to find out whether they are or were suffering from the often-deadly virus.

Meanwhile, a man in canton Obwalden was given the all clear on Tuesday, after being identified as a potential Sars case ten days ago.

China's "catastrophe"

Elsewhere in the world, China - thought to be the origin of the virus - described the Sars crisis it was experiencing as a "catastrophe".

The health ministry announced on Wednesday that a total of 2,305 Sars cases had been reported. The death toll currently stands at 106.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization has sent a second team to China to support the work of its first mission, currently based in Beijing.

The latest team is charged with investigating the virus in Shanghai and in the provinces.

On Wednesday the WHO warned against travelling to Beijing, China's Shanxi province and the Canadian city of Toronto to try to halt the spread of the virus.

The agency said the recommendation to postpone non-essential travel to the three areas would remain in effect for at least three weeks - twice the maximum incubation period.

swissinfo with agencies

Sars Switzerland

Four new suspected Sars cases have been reported in Switzerland.
This brings the total number of suspected Swiss cases to 23.
China - where more than 100 people have died - has described the crisis as a "catastrophe".
Worldwide more than 4,000 Sars cases have been reported and more than 250 people are known to have died.

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