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New York Times article on the rise of the SARS virus (4/27/03)

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    New York Times article on the rise of the SARS virus (4/27/03)

    The following article is a long one but is packed with interesting observations on what may be the origins of the SARS virus in China. In brief, the following are (to me anyway, new and interesting observations.

    1. In China, the virus is thought to have arisen from animals. Therefore, they expected to find the pneumonia amongst farmers who were intimately in contact with animals. But, they did not find this to be the case. It turns out that a majority of the cases were among people who handled food and then health care workers who came into contact with the first human cases in the hospital. Several outbreaks have now been reported in the Universities and schools in Beijing, resulting in the suspension of classes in several universities.

    2. In Canada, even healthy people who are arriving from infected areas are advised to go into a voluntary 10-day quarantine, i.e. eating separately and not sleeping with family members, as well as monitoring their temperatures. Ontario Canada has over 7000 people now under quarantine.

    3. In Singapore, the spread of the virus is incredibly well documented. Of the 188 victims, only 4 were infected outside of the home or hospital. One was a child who caught it from the another child of a parent who was infected. One was a flight attendant who served an infected doctor from Singapore flying in Europe, one was a cab driver, and one was a vegetable salesman. Three women with the disease came to Singapore in early March. Two did not pass it to anybody. One, however, spread it to hospital workers and patients. One of the subsequently infected nurses spread it to 26 others. The disease spread to 90 people in the Tan Tock Seng hospital within a month. Strict quarantine procedures have now been imposed on all suspected contacts.

    4. In Hong Kong, however, 2-10 doctors and nurses are still coming down with the disease per day, in part because they are not recognizing the disease early enough and patients are being admitted to the regular wards. [By the way, the New York Times says that the disease has been controlled in Vietnam and that no more health care workers in Singapore are coming down with the disease].



    From China's Provinces, a Crafty Germ Spreads

    [This message was edited by Wise Young on 04-27-03 at 01:03 AM.]