Guangdong has declared it will go on high alert against swine flu, saying the 'heroes' of its 2003 fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome are ready for battle. Three hospitals in Guangzhou with experience in the Sars outbreak have been designated to handle any cases of swine flu - Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University and Nanfang Hospital. 'Most of the health workers who experienced Sars and bird flu are still working on the front line. And the team is getting ready for swine flu,' said He Jianfeng , head of the institute of epidemiology at the provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr He won an award from the provincial government for his efforts against Sars. 'Many of my colleagues who fought against Sars are volunteering for the upcoming battle,' he said. Feng Shaomin, spokesman for the provincial Department of Health, said that because of the Sars experience, health workers were 'self-possessed, professional and prepared'. 'Public hospitals were in chaos when the Sars outbreak started, but after the battle, now we have world-class doctors and isolation wards for those high-risk patients of the kind who suffered from Sars.' Compared with other areas, Mr Feng said Guangdong's health workers had more advantages and experience to deal with swine flu since there were many similarities between the two diseases. 'In this regard, the public can trust us,' he said. He said health experts in Guangzhou were following the situation closely and had launched a series of measures after suspected cases of swine flu were reported in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Feng said hospitals throughout Guangdong had held meetings with their workers, focusing on how to treat the first local case of swine flu. 'More than 10,000 doses of Tamiflu are in stock in Guangdong,' he said. 'We will also designate at least one hospital for an emergency outbreak in each city.' Pig farms, pig-trading markets and slaughterhouses have increased disinfection from twice to three times a day.