The threat from a highly contagious form of pneumonia is now global, with at least nine countries thought to be affected.



Eight cases in Canada, including two deaths, and two cases in Germany were announced over the weekend. In total, the illness is suspected to have killed nine people and infected more than 470.



Over 300 of the cases have been China, where the first deaths from severe “atypical” pneumonia were reported in mid-February. The remaining 170 have centred on outbreaks in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, or can be traced to people who recently visited the region. The two groups of cases may be linked via a US businessman, who died after visiting both areas.

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