Sun Microsystems has postponed next week's SunNetwork 2003 conference in Shanghai, citing concerns over the rapid spread of a flu-like disease in parts of Asia.
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By yesterday, 1,622 cases of severe acute respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and 58 deaths, had been reported in 13 countries, according to the World Health Organisation. The greatest increase in new cases over the past week had occurred in Hong Kong.
"In view of the fact that many international organisations have issued health and safety advisories, the SunNetwork 2003 conference originally scheduled to be held on April 8-9 has been postponed," Sun said in a statement posted on its Chinese website.
More than 4,000 people and 250 partner companies had registered to attend the SunNetwork conference in Shanghai. No date was given for when the conference might be rescheduled.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised that people planning to travel to China, Hong Kong, Singapore; and Vietnam postpone their trips until further notice.