Posted: 5/6/2003 4:17:14 PM EDT
Scientists estimate SARS death rate in Hong Kong nearly 20 percent
London-AP -- The first major study of SARS trends estimates that about 20 percent of people hospitalized with the disease in Hong Kong die of it.
But some experts believe the number may look high because of the patients' ages. The average age of the Hong Kong patients is 50, and disease experts generally agree that the virus is much more deadly in people over 60. In fact, the new study puts the death rate for those over 60 at 55 percent.
The British study is on the Web site of a British journal, The Lancet.
Experts say the figures do not reflect the chance of the average person anywhere dying from SARS if he or she contracts it. There is debate about what the death rate is. But health agencies estimate it between about six percent and ten percent.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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