Hong Kong Quarantines Entire Hotel

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 12:01 PM CDT
Police officers wearing masks seal off Metro Park Hotel in Hong Kong Friday, May 1, 2009 as the first swine flu victim in the city was confirmed to have stayed there.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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(Newser) – Hong Kong has quarantined an entire hotel after a guest was diagnosed with swine flu, the Wall Street Journal reports. The territory's chief executive said he opted to err on the side of caution in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease. Roughly 300 guests are trapped inside; they're allowed to roam freely through the hotel but are being encouraged to stay in their rooms and avoid contact. The patient is in isolation at a hospital.

Those who were in close contact with the patient are being quarantined separately. All guests will be treated with Tamiflu. It is the first instance of pig flu in East Asia, but SARS is still fresh in the region’s mind. That disease, which killed 299 in Hong Kong, was traced back to a single infected guest at a hotel in the Kowloon neighborhood.