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Health authorities in Hong Kong are coming under intense criticism over their use of an antiviral drug combined with anti-inflammatory steroids to treat patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Critics of the treatment say that there are few indications that the combination of steroids and the antiviral drug ribavirin is effective. And autopsies revealing damage to organs other than the lungs have raised the question of whether the drugs are partly to blame.

But in the absence of any obvious alternative, health authorities in Hong Kong are sticking with the therapy.

Link to Nature news story

Source: Nature 423, 4 (2003)

Related external links:

SciDev.Net's special feature on SARS and Developing Countries

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