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BS: SARS

John MacKenzie 21 Apr 03 - 03:44 PM
Beccy 21 Apr 03 - 04:42 PM
Burke 21 Apr 03 - 05:26 PM
Ebbie 21 Apr 03 - 06:24 PM
Burke 21 Apr 03 - 07:02 PM
Ebbie 21 Apr 03 - 09:03 PM
Sorcha 21 Apr 03 - 10:22 PM
mg 21 Apr 03 - 11:50 PM
Cluin 21 Apr 03 - 11:56 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 01:53 AM
Jeri 22 Apr 03 - 06:58 AM
black walnut 22 Apr 03 - 07:18 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 07:35 AM
Burke 22 Apr 03 - 10:31 AM
Forum Lurker 22 Apr 03 - 10:56 AM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 01:39 PM
black walnut 22 Apr 03 - 02:34 PM
Cluin 22 Apr 03 - 02:42 PM
katlaughing 22 Apr 03 - 04:25 PM
Burke 22 Apr 03 - 05:00 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 03 - 07:13 PM
Peg 23 Apr 03 - 02:12 AM
mouldy 23 Apr 03 - 04:36 AM
gnu 23 Apr 03 - 06:06 AM
Burke 23 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM
Peg 23 Apr 03 - 12:19 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 03 - 04:16 PM
Cluin 23 Apr 03 - 04:36 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Apr 03 - 05:16 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 03 - 07:07 PM
harpgirl 23 Apr 03 - 07:18 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 03 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Apr 03 - 07:28 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 03 - 07:56 PM
Jeri 23 Apr 03 - 08:05 PM
Burke 23 Apr 03 - 08:40 PM
Cluin 23 Apr 03 - 09:34 PM
harpgirl 23 Apr 03 - 10:11 PM
Little Hawk 23 Apr 03 - 11:34 PM
black walnut 24 Apr 03 - 07:44 AM
Peter T. 24 Apr 03 - 09:08 AM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 03 - 09:30 AM
Peg 24 Apr 03 - 10:57 AM
black walnut 24 Apr 03 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,pdc 24 Apr 03 - 12:33 PM
black walnut 24 Apr 03 - 12:37 PM
Cluin 24 Apr 03 - 01:13 PM
Ebbie 24 Apr 03 - 01:23 PM
black walnut 24 Apr 03 - 03:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 03 - 04:19 PM
Jeri 24 Apr 03 - 05:18 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 03 - 07:15 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 03 - 07:18 PM
Jeri 24 Apr 03 - 07:37 PM
Little Hawk 24 Apr 03 - 08:00 PM
katlaughing 24 Apr 03 - 10:22 PM
catspaw49 24 Apr 03 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Apr 03 - 02:03 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Apr 03 - 02:06 AM
catspaw49 25 Apr 03 - 04:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Apr 03 - 05:24 AM
GUEST 25 Apr 03 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Cluin 25 Apr 03 - 05:51 PM
Peg 26 Apr 03 - 12:08 PM
Doug_Remley 26 Apr 03 - 05:47 PM
Cluin 27 Apr 03 - 01:51 AM
Little Hawk 27 Apr 03 - 12:57 PM
GUEST 27 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM
beadie 28 Apr 03 - 12:29 PM
black walnut 28 Apr 03 - 04:16 PM
katlaughing 28 Apr 03 - 04:26 PM
beadie 29 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM
beadie 29 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM
black walnut 29 Apr 03 - 01:32 PM
beadie 29 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM
katlaughing 29 Apr 03 - 02:06 PM
black walnut 29 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM
beadie 29 Apr 03 - 05:15 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Apr 03 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 30 Apr 03 - 03:55 PM
katlaughing 30 Apr 03 - 03:57 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Apr 03 - 04:03 PM
SINSULL 30 Apr 03 - 07:26 PM
Li'l Aussie Bleeder 30 Apr 03 - 07:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 03 - 08:04 PM
Burke 30 Apr 03 - 08:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 03 - 08:58 PM
SINSULL 30 Apr 03 - 09:14 PM
beadie 01 May 03 - 08:57 AM
Forum Lurker 01 May 03 - 05:21 PM
katlaughing 01 May 03 - 05:25 PM
GUEST, heric 05 May 03 - 08:50 PM
Burke 05 May 03 - 09:27 PM
mouldy 06 May 03 - 08:13 AM
GUEST 06 May 03 - 08:31 AM
sian, west wales 06 May 03 - 10:29 AM
Jeri 06 May 03 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,heric 06 May 03 - 08:17 PM
mouldy 07 May 03 - 02:33 AM
Bagpuss 07 May 03 - 11:35 AM
Doug_Remley 07 May 03 - 09:29 PM
black walnut 08 May 03 - 08:23 AM
Ebbie 08 May 03 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,ari 09 May 03 - 12:48 PM
mouldy 10 May 03 - 04:18 AM
Burke 23 May 03 - 06:58 PM
black walnut 25 May 03 - 03:23 PM
Steve Latimer 26 May 03 - 09:57 AM
black walnut 26 May 03 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 May 03 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 May 03 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,JTT 26 May 03 - 02:48 PM
black walnut 09 Jun 03 - 11:38 AM
black walnut 10 Jun 03 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,mink 10 Jun 03 - 09:16 AM
black walnut 10 Jun 03 - 12:50 PM
black walnut 27 Jun 03 - 08:25 AM
black walnut 27 Jun 03 - 10:36 AM
Raptor 27 Jun 03 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River 28 Jun 03 - 10:51 PM

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Subject: BS: SARS
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 03:44 PM

I'd just like to tell all our friends in Canada generally, and in Toronto particularly that we're thinking about them. Keep healthy guys.
Slainthe
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Beccy
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 04:42 PM

Yikes... they just documented a case near me a general suburban area of Rochester, NY. I guess the guy had travelled up to Toronto and was exposed by a Toronto native friend who had recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong.

We're thinking of you, for sure! Take care of yourselves and take your vities.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 05:26 PM

How much is life being affected in Toronto? I have friends on the Village Harmony tour that is due to be in Toronto on Thursday & Friday. Are people avoiding public gatherings like concerts, etc?

To keep all this in perspective, according to the CDC:
Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that approximately 10% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and an average of 114,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 06:24 PM

There is a kind of funny story on the news today about a Canadian resisting quarantine. (It'll probably develop that he is from the United States)

TORONTO (Reuters) - A health-care worker who is probably infected with the deadly SARS virus could have put hundreds of people at risk after he refused to obey a voluntary quarantine request and became "obnoxious" and "threatening," Ontario health officials said on Monday.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 07:02 PM

The Globe & Mail has an article. It would seem the nurse should have known better.

When public health contacted the man, who works at an unidentified downtown Toronto hospital, and told him he should have quarantined himself, he became "obnoxious, threatening and belligerent," Dr. Kassam said.

It's bad enough, I think there's no need to bash Yankees on this.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 09:03 PM

Burke, I'm a Yank.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 10:22 PM

I'm ignoring the whole thing. Oh well.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: mg
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:50 PM

Is this a natural virus? The timing is sort of strange. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 11:56 PM

Yeah, you'd think the virus would've had the good manners to hold off till CNN was done with the war cover(-over-)age at least, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 01:53 AM

GOOD NEWS

TAMAFLU manufactored by Gilead Pharmaceuticals is an anti-viral for influenza which could prove effective against SARS.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 06:58 AM

Viruses mutate all the time. That's one of the reasons people who get flu shots, get a new one each year - the flu viruses have changed. Cold viruses do the same but colds aren't a big deal for most people. This virus just happens to be deadlier. Not that it couldn't have been developed as a bio-weapon, but that's the least likely explanation at present. You can aim weapons.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:18 AM

Black Walnut, reporting to you from Toronto. Monitoring...no fever, cough due to allergies only. Off to work now. More later.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:35 AM

Pneumonia/influenza mortality in 1996 rate for the United States rate of 12.8 deaths per 100,000.
Data Sources: U.S. _ National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Worldwide, SARS has infected 3,461 and killed 170, according to the World Health Organization for an approximate mortality rate of 5000 deaths per 100,000

In the Los Angeles area with 10 million people that would equate to 500,000 deaths.

Tamiflu is designed to prevent all common strains of the influenza virus from replicating. The replication process is what contributes to the worsening of symptoms in a person infected with the influenza virus. It is a neuraminidase inhibitor for treatment and prevention.

Look at their six viral lines of medications at http://www.gilead.com/wt/sec/advancet


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 10:31 AM

Thanks, Guest. I was finding raw numbers but not the mortality rate on influenza. Your Los Angles figure would apply if everyone there actually got sick, right? Let us hope & pray it does not reach that proportion.

Mary, early on with SARS, I was hearing discussions on how many flu viruses originate in Southern China, as the SARS virus also seems to have. It a large populations of people living close to pigs & poultry provides a fertile area for spread of diseases & mutation of viruses. China has apparently had it since last fall, but they were not either acknowleding it internally or telling others.

It looks like the usual practices for protecting hospital workers is not adequate. This from the Globe & Mail.
Hospital staff working in Toronto-area SARS units will now be double-gloved and wear full face shields as concerns grow that the gear used so far has not been enough to protect health-care workers.

Also this Studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that, unlike most respiratory viruses medicine knows, the microbe behind SARS can survive up to 24 hours on inanimate objects, turning any surface into a possible point of disease transmission.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 10:56 AM

Burke-SARS is, from what I've heard, much less infectious than most strains of flu. With less than 3,500 people infected since the beginning of the outbreak, I don't imagine it will become very epidemic.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 01:39 PM

IF it survives until FALL/WINTER we could expect a major epidemic in the Northern Hemisphere. Success in breaking its chain of contagion is racing a celestial clock.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 02:34 PM

Forget the stats. SARS is not the flu. It's very serious. The hospitals are doing are doing their best to contain this, but as in most restrictions, there are leaks. Every newspaper's front page and every news programme on the radio includes the latest update on SARS. It's like listening for the weather report.

I and my loved ones have been affected by this outbreak in a myriad of ways, some minor, some major. Most of you do not live or work in Toronto. From a distance, it must seem like numbers and risks, but to me it's about the people I care about in my life.

* My father-in-law, bedridden from a stroke, is waiting for life-saving surgery - he hasn't even been able to see his surgeon since the beginning of the SARS restrictions. He is lonely; we are limited to only one family member per day to visit him at his residence.

* My niece's husband sits in worry on a park bench outside the hospital, not allowed to be with his wife during her weekly ultrasound- my niece is enduring a very stressful high risk pregnancy, with twins.

* I was unable to visit a music friend of mine (only 52 years old) when she was dying in hospital, and then, sadly, I was not able to go to her funeral last week, either, because I had a bit of a cough from allergies and didn't want to scare everyone.

* A friend's friend lost first his father, then a few weeks later, his mother, to SARS.

* Some of my friends are afraid to go on the subway, or to go out to a restaurant or a movie. I'm trying to keep living life around as 'normal' as possible, but you have to wonder if this is going to get better or worse. And if it just stays the same, that's bad enough.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 02:42 PM

Forum Lurker, you have heard wrong. SARS is VERY infectious. That's why those who have it or are exposed to it are being quarantined. This virus can survive on objects outside the body for several hours and some researchers believe it can be passed on through airborne means (that's why lots of people are wearing masks in public).

It's true that it has been lethal mainly for those with already compromised immune systems or respiratory problems like athsma, emphysema, bronchitis, etc. or those not strong enough to survive it (like the elderly, infants, etc). Reasonably healthy adults could probably expect to just be hospitalized for several days and leave in a much-weakened condition, several pounds lighter. Think the hospitals and staff could accomodate the vast number of patients they'd receive if this thing does become an epidemic? They are already advising people not to come into Emerg with flu-like symptoms now, in case they infect more people there.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 04:25 PM

I have just been reading up on this and haven't found too much mention of the economic ramifications, but from what I have read and heard it seems it is having a devastating effect on businesses, something I don't think has ever really been seen with influenza outbreaks, not on such a global scale.

One article from Canada said they now believe it can transmitted through sewage pipes, closed air spaces, and even on an elevator button. Health care workers who took precautions and wore regular masks were infected. They now have to wear TWO types of masks, gloves, and gowns, taking the outer ones off after seeing a patient.

One chilling thing I read said people are being told NOT to go to the hospital if they believe they are ill. They are being asked to stay at home. People are having all kinds of procedures delayed, as Black Walnut has pointed out.

BTW, Black Walnut, my daughter was confined to bed for 19 weeks with a difficult pregnancy of twins. It's tough on the mom to keep so idle and the dad to take care of her and everything else, but it really pays off when they are able to deliver healthy babies. I am sorry about your neice's husband not being able to be there with her for the weekly tests. May it all go as well for them as it did for my daughter and son-in-law.

Let's pay attention, people. This has an ominous, far-reaching feel to it.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 05:00 PM

Black walnut, thanks for the report. I've been wanting to get a handle on the human face of this while so far it has been numbers.

So far, the human face for me has been knowing friends who may or may not be there later this week. Also there is a large Library Convention scheduled there for late in June. In both cases it's trying to answer the question of "Should we go," based on little concrete knowledge.

That there is so much that is unknown is a big part of the problem. We don't know if people are contagious before they show symptoms. We don't know really how easily spread it is. The CDC says 'close personal contact' but that's vague enough to mean about anything.

My hope for all people is that the severe restrictions on things like your father-in-law's wait for surgery & niece having to go to ultasound alone will turn out to have been unnecessary. Given how the news changes daily, I don't think the precautions being taken now in Toronto are over-reaction. My hope is also that a vaccine can be developed quickly.

My fear is that the genie is alreay out of the box, SARS will get worse and it will eventually spread world wide. Quarantines may slow it, but not stop it. We will have severe problems if they do not find out how to stop the health care workes from getting sick. Until there's a vaccine we have a lot to worry about.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:13 PM

From today's Financial Times of London



The worldwide death toll from severe acute respiratory syndrome on Monday rose to 209, with 3,896 infected.


The Sars virus has spread to 26 countries, with the highest incidence in China, and second highest in Hong Kong with 1,402 cases and 94 deaths.

The Philippines reported its first potential Sars death after a nurse visiting home from Toronto died of pneumonia-like symptoms last week.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Peg
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 02:12 AM

black walnut, sorry to hear about your loved ones. This disease does have greater danger for anyone with lowered immunity (the elderly or already sick, etc.), but still the mortality rate is a small percentage of the total, much smaller than influenza as has been pointed out. Here's hoping your loved ones get well soon, and you get to see them, too.

I am still tending to think there is an awful lot of panic being promulgated by the media with this...it sounds to me like the numbers are not dissimilar to your average flu outbreak, something we all await with trepidation each year because of mutation of viruses (I know, I know, this isn't a virus).

The latest update I just heard on the news is that this is droplet-borne, not airborne...and so not as communicable as the flu. So standing next to someone is not risky unless they sneeze or cough, or you touch them..and hand washing is still a good idea. Basic cold and flu season caution.

Has anyone heard what antibioitcs, if any, are effective? I am also curious to know if anyone has tried melaleuca/tea tree to prevent infection...or colloidal silver (both of these were the buzz in alternative medicine circles when everyone was panicking about anthrax)...and if so if this information has reached the medical establishment yet...


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: mouldy
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 04:36 AM

My other half has just returned to Shenyang in NE China. (About an hour's flight E of Beijing). He was home from 11th April until 21st April, which covers the 10 day incubation period of SARS. He (and us) is ok. He decided to get a couple of facemasks for his return and could not get hold of any. Boots the Chemists said that they could usually get them, had sold out, and had experienced warehouse problems so their deliveries weren't turning up. He was hoping that SAS airlines would hand them out to their travellers, as BA were reported to be doing.

The sudden "increase" in the reported cases in China didn't surprise him as he says the government usually lie about most things. He said the usual pattern was being followed - somebody got the sack!

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: gnu
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 06:06 AM

Sad to hear about your loved ones and your woes BW. I wish Canada could learn from the US as to how to combat this problem. They have more than ten times the travellers, business or otherwise, that we have to the source countries, but have not experienced the rate of infection or death that we have.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM

Peg,
SARS is a virus. Specifically according to the CDC: Scientists at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. The new coronavirus is the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, however, other viruses are still under investigation as potential causes.

Admittedly from a distance, I have been trying to find the real information. It seems to me that the media swings between over-hype and possibly false assurances. It's not safe to travel to Toronto one moment & no need to cancel that conference the next. CDC SARS information
is constantly being updated with the latest information.

I think comparisons to influenza are useful simply because that's the main reference we have for getting a handle on it. It strikes me that saying one is worse than the other is not very helpful just now.

I don't for one minute believe the statistics coming from China. I think it is being way under recognized & as a consequence under reported.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Peg
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 12:19 PM

Burke; thanks for that clarification. I have heard so much conflicting information about this is recent weeks I can't remember the details of it all.

I see your point on how it is not wise to equate this with flu. My main reasons for using a comparison to influenza, even though these may not be similar afflictions, is in terms of what I see as the media panic surrounding SARS. My point was, the mortality from flu each year is probably greater, and like SARS affects those with compromised immunity more seriously than others, but for some reason this epidemic is being seen as far more serious. And i think par of that has to do with recent tendencies in the media to paint everything (except the casualties of the war oddly enough) with extreme colors in order to promulgate extreem panic and fear. I have not seen ONE story on SARS on the internet or TV news in which at least one picture of someone wearing a surgical mask was not prominently featured. It seems if we go more than a week without something out there to fear, the media feel they arent dying their jobs.

for example: Before SARS became an international problem, there were ridiculous headline stories trying to link the hijacker of the Achille Lauro to "terrorism in Iraq" simply because he'd been found there 18 years fater this crime was committed. Every headline had "terrorist" and "Iraq" in it. That may seem obvious, but in subtle ways these headlines work on our psyches and the effect is one of increasingly xenophobic paranoia, and the instilling of fear in places it did not exist before. Words like "terror", "epidemic", "nukes", "victims", etc. are all used in ways to play upon our emotions, even when such loaded words are not appropriate or even accurate.

I am watching the coverage of the Laci Peterson case; it does seem likely that her husband did it, but the way the news is covering this, they have already convicted him! I have seen a dozen different headlines mentioning the death penalty. The guy isn't even scheduled for a hearing yet! Much less been found guilty by a jury.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 04:16 PM

It'll be another OJ, Peg, he'll get off, even though everyone will know he did it. They even arrested him while he was driving! Ironic, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 04:36 PM

Well, the WHO (World Health Organization) has just come out with an advisory that all but essential travel to Toronto (in addition to certain provinces in China) be cancelled. T.O. Mayor Mel Lastman is spitting mad.... officially, that is... everybody in Ontario knows he is just plain mad anyway.

Call me crazy too, but I think there is a teeny bit more to the SARS threat than just media-hype, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 05:16 PM

Ahhah, so you watched (or heard) that too Cluin? Mel, was apoplectic, and not only because he apparently had never heard of either Geneva, the WHO or the centre for Disease Control. This is doing SERIOUS DAMAGE to Toronto on a lot of levels. I don't think Mel has a clue what to do. I don't. Do you?

The hospitals are doing their best, but I think they're as confused as anyone. It's not a good time.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 07:07 PM

This is an odd situation. I'm puzzled as to why the media are covering it in such a way as to induce a growing panic in the general population worldwide...unless they are just doing their usual "flog the leading story as long as it gets good ratings" bit, now that the Iraq war "miniseries" is pretty well over...

As for me, I've had a rotten cold with some fevers for the last 5 days, but I am on the mend. I don't think it's SARS, I think it's just a cold, but who knows? I don't think I've lost any weight.

In another aside I might mention this: I never get flu shots...and I virtually never get the flu either. I think flu shots are a crock. But if they make you feel safer, by all means get them.

I feel safer just keeping my immune system strong by using common sense.

I'll tell you one thing, Chinese restaurants in Toronto must be taking a beating these days.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: harpgirl
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 07:18 PM

LH you better make sure you don't have SARS harpy


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 07:24 PM

Yeah, well, I suppose...

I know several other people who've got colds right now too. It's not surprising, given the lousy weather we've had this spring. It was snowing again last night! (just a few random flakes drifting down for a short while)

It's kind of hard on the system when it keeps changing back and forth between winter and spring.

- LH


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Millennium Flu
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 07:28 PM

"...unless they are just doing their usual 'flog the leading story as long as it gets good ratings' bit" - got it in one I'd saw Little Hawk.

It'd be wrong to blame the reporters and such, they're just the footsoldiers. It's the proprietors and the advertisers. Don't care who they hurt.

Don't knock flu-shots. I had a really unpleasant dose of flu a couple of years ago, and since then had a flu shot, and it hasn't recurred. People always tend to say "flu" when they really mean a bad cold, bu it ain't the same animal at all. Even when it's not life threatening, you sill feel like you are dying.

Typically I wrote a song about it - The Millennium Flu. So I may as well put it here, to subvert the distinction between music threads and non-music threads:

                   a                                     G
      They call it the flu, but you don't fly,
                               F                            E
      just hang around, and wait to die -
                               a                               G
      it seems like time's just crawling by
                         F E                     a
      Millenium Flu, it's got to you.

                                       C                                  G
      When your body aches, your mouth is dry,
                            F                            E
      you cry for help, there's no reply,
                            F                                        G
      you pray to live, but you can't think why -
                      F E                     a
      Millenium Flu, it's got to you.

                   F               G                   C                  a
Now my head is so dizzy and my mind is confused
       F                   G                        C                   G   
my body feels so shaken and so worn out and used
                         F                           G
like I'd been drinking, getting stinking,
             C
and I just couldn't stop,
             F               C       G                         C               G
all the perils of the bar-room - and I'd not had a drop.

                                 F                      G                     C
      Well you may talk about the future, try to get me enthused
                        F                            G                   C                  G
      but the dreams I'm having lately do not leave me amused -
                        F                               G                                  C            a
      like, I've been there, and I've seen there, and I've been disabused.
                           F                              a                        F   G      C
      Nothing straightens out your notions like Millennium Flu.
                                  F                           G
      Yes, you can straighten out your notions
                                 C                           a
      while you're knocking back the potions
                  F                            G
      as you go through the emotions
                   a   G       C
      of Millennium Flu.

                They call it the flu, but you don't fly,
                just hang around, and wait to die,
                it feels like time's just crawling by -
                Millennium Flu, it's got to you.
                When your body aches, your mouth is dry,.
                you cry for help, there's no reply,
                you pray to live, but you can't think why -
                Millennium Flu, it's got to you.

Well I was standing on this palace, Oh so far from my home,
and someone said they call this the Millenium Dome.
We were up there, we were stuck there, with the world all around,
but I couldn't help but wonder, "Where's the way to get down?"

    Well you may talk about the future, try to get me enthused
    but the dreams I'm having lately seem to leave me bemused -
    like, I've been there, and I've seen there, and I've been disabused.
    Nothing straightens out your notions like Millennium Flu.

    Yes, you can straighten out your notions
    while you're knocking back the potions
    as you go through the emotions
    of Millennium Flu.

            They call it the flu, but you don't fly,
            just hang around, and wait to die,
            it feels like time's just crawling by -
            Millennium Flu, it's got to you.

                When your body aches, your mouth is dry,
                you cry for help, there's no reply,
                you pray to live, but you can't think why -
                Millennium Flu, it's got to you.

Then we were out there on the ocean with the stars up above,
and someone started talking of a summer of love.
we were rolling, we were strolling, and what more could be said
- then I got a sinking feeling, there's an iceberg ahead.
Sure there's no need for to panic, when you're safe on the Titanic
on a slowly tilting planet trying to stand on its head.

   Well you may talk about the future, try to get me enthused
   but the dreams I'm having lately do not leave me amused -
   like, I've been there, and I've seen there, and I've been disabused.
   Nothing straightens out your notions like Millennium Flu.

         Yes, you can straighten out your notions
       while you're knocking back the potions
       as you go through the emotions
       of Millennium Flu.

                They call it the flu, but you don't fly,
                just hang around, and wait to die -
                it seems like time's just crawling by.
                Millennium flu, it's got to you.
                When your body aches, your mouth is dry,
                you cry for help, there's no reply,
                you pray to live, but you can't think why -
                Millennium Flu, it's got to you.

January 1st 1999


It was my prediction about the 21st century - and it seesm depressingly accurate so far.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 07:56 PM

Very good lyric, McGrath. Well done.

Judging by how you describe the flu, I don't think I've had it since the 70's, but I have had a fair number of colds here and there. I find the best way to avoid them is to do a fair bit of walking outside every day in the winter, and breathe lots of fresh air...but my own laziness defeats the program sometimes, unfortunately.

One of the primary causes of winter illness is not getting enough fresh air, and breathing stale air inside buildings all day.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 08:05 PM

I don't believe the media is hyping this too much. So far, from the statistics the World Health Organisation has compiled (here), out of 2283 cases for which the outcome is known, 251 people have died. This is a mortality rate of 11%, and I believe quite a few of the people who've died have been adults with healthy immune systems. Although SARS doesn't seem to be THAT contagious, it IS that deadly.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think we may be seeing just the beginning. People ignore quarantine, people are afraid so they may not seek treatment even when the think they might have it, and people may be contagious before they get sick enough to think it's reasonable to seek treatment. Those folks hang around with other folks and they travel.

There's a healthy balance though, somewhere between apathy or denial and panic. I'm not ready to turn into a complete hermit just yet. The best bet is to keep up on what's happening, learn about the symptoms and how to protect ourselves without freaking out.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 08:40 PM

I've been cruising around the web reading articles & trying to collect information. The Guardian has a nice Collection of Links.

From there I found several good articles in Time. Especially this one The Cycle of Death. It helped me see much better why early response is so necessary to limit spread of a virus like this.

The way to get people to be careful about the contacts that spread it, is to get them worried. Unfortunately it takes a fair amount of 'the sky is falling' to get our attention, including mine. If the spread is stopped in Toronto, some of the measures taken will seem to have been overdone. OTOH China did not react early & has even lied, helping to make the spread faster & more widespead in that country. We can see what inaction & delay will do, overreaction may be the better choice right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 09:34 PM

LH,

"This is an odd situation. I'm puzzled as to why the media are covering it in such a way as to induce a growing panic in the general population worldwide...unless they are just doing their usual "flog the leading story as long as it gets good ratings" bit, now that the Iraq war "miniseries" is pretty well over..."

You've stated many times that you don't watch TV. If you did you'd know that SARS has been leading the news in the Canadian media for about a month now. It was the top story more often than not during the height of the war.

Of course, it was never mentioned on CNN at all. That network had such tunnel vision, while still reporting nothing important about the war, just reinforced my already low opinion of the quality of their "journalism".


And Rick, no, nobody really knows what to do about the situation, other than what is already being done. But Wacky Mel's attitude doesn't help (does it ever?). If nothing else, our politicians can be good for a real laugh sometimes. I'll even miss ol' Jean when he's gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: harpgirl
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 10:11 PM

...I'm afraid that when it hits the third world countries such as Africa, we will see greater mortality rates...I agree with Jeri. It is a nasty virus and it KILLS people, but influenza kills people as well...


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 11:34 PM

Cluin - I was going by the newspaper headlines, which I keep an eye on regularly. SARS has replaced the War in Iraq as the leading headline subject, ever since Saddam's statue was toppled in Baghdad (that being the entertainment climax of the War in Iraq miniseries...).

I occasionally see some TV one way or another, but I don't own one, and I don't seek it out, generally speaking. I'd rather Mudcat. It's more creative, I think.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:44 AM

I think it's important to know the symptoms of SARS so that you don't start questioning every cold or sinus headache or cough.

"Symptoms of SARS:
Fever- a fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4°F [>38.0°C])
Headaches
General feeling of discomfort
Body aches
mild respiratory symptoms
and a dry, nonproductive cough"

I've heard that SARS feels VERY severe and acute when you get it...like being hit by a MAC truck, like you'll never breathe again. And some people never do. There are special places to go in Toronto for diagnosis. But if you're like Andy Barrie (CBC radio), you could end up sitting on a bench outside in the rain for 3 hours waiting to be seen at a SARS clinic - the clinic he went to doesn't have an indoor waiting area (that may be the norm, I don't know). Andy said that if he didn't have pnemonia going into this, he probably did after sitting out there on that bench.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 09:08 AM

Hopelessly overblown -- the plague of fear, rumour, ignorance (check out Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year for early enlightenment).I would hate to be running a hotel or convention booking office in Toronto. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 09:30 AM

I see it pretty well the way you do, Peter. Check into the statistics for the influenza outbreak after the First World War too. This SARS thing is a flyspeck compared to that so far. We shall see how it goes.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Peg
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:57 AM

Those are some good links at the Guardian site, thanks for pointing that out, Burke. Theer is at least one interesting editorial that views this all as so much panic-mongering...but then again that was written a couple of weeks ago. Things do seem to be escalating.

I still think the media is overdoing it, and that this is comparable to your oridnary flu epidemic in terms of mortality numbers, but perhaps the rate/percentage of infection _is_ something to be wary of. I hope Jeri and kat and others who seem to think this is the "tip of the iceberg" turn out to be wrong, but I worry they may be right, after all...I am really going back and forth on this one now...

People who are, like me, sick of media fear-mongering that seems to get worse every day may well be ignoring this so as to feel in some control over their lives...problem is, forewarned is forearmed ony works if one really does think ahead and act quickly...are we going back to the days of hoarding antibiotics? (not that there's any proof they work against this)

In fact, we do have some isolated cases of infection in the Boston area (first showed up at a daycare center in Newton, I believe, after one child returned from a visit to China); and near the beginning of the news coverage of SARS when it was still confined to Asia, a rumor started that there had been cases discovered in Boston's Chinatown (the media was suggesting at the time that travel would be a likely mode of spreading the disease to other parts of the world); the Boston Globe ran an article recently on how this rumor, even though it was totally unfounded, has all but decimated the restraurant trade in that neighborhood (around the corner from where I teach at Emerson). Now it turns out the same sort of rumor has affected London's Chinatown...

Best advice the public can be given now: stay calm and take care of yourself better than usual.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 11:55 AM

My personal feeling is that if you don't overblow it somewhat in the media, you won't get people to take this seriously and to stay in quarantine for the full length of time required. I'd like us to keep this one from spreading. There are a lot of nurses and doctors working very hard to keep it that way, and I don't want to minimize their huge efforts by treating this thing too lightly. They are putting their lives and their families' lives on the line for us. They are working long hours under very difficult conditions. They are covering up and still getting the virus. Let's keep the physical impact of this illness in special hospital units, where it belongs, not out and about in the neighbourhoods. It's terrible when and if schools and nursing homes and other community gathering places get shut down because someone breaks quarantine.

I truly don't think that Toronto is a place to be shunning right now. I think we're doing the job very well at containing SARS. If the death rate is low thus far, let's rejoice, but let's not say that people with symptoms or in contact with them can just go wherever they want whenever they want to. I don't believe there is any real danger at this point to the public in normal situations. I am not afraid to go on the subway or to the mall or to a concert or restaurant or movie. I would be hesitant to go into a hospital treating SARS, though.

Does it spread easily? I was told that my friend's father who died of SARS got it just by lying in a bed near to someone with SARS (they were treating it at first as TB) for about 1/2 in the same hospital room. The friend's father did not have low immunity at the time...he was in for a heart condition. He got it within 1/2 hour, then died from it, and soon afterwared, so did his wife. That's sounds pretty contagious and serious to me.

I certainly don't think the way things stand now is worth troubling a whole city's and country's economy over, by shutting us down to visitors. I thank the medics for doing their darndest to keep us (ALL of us, not just those of us here in Toronto) safe from SARS. I hope the federal government will pour down financial rain upon our city.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 12:33 PM

Two questions:

Can anyone imagine/understand why Canada has this problem and not the US?

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome: what's the difference between severe and acute?


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 12:37 PM

I can't wait to hear the answers.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 01:13 PM

1.
bad luck.

2.
severe: harsh, extreme
acute: sharp, less than 90º, not obtuse, not "round at the free end"


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 01:23 PM

One thing I never expected to hear in my life is "Stay out of the hospitals" but that is what spokespersons are saying. Makes me wonder:

#1- If I need surgery, where else do I go?
#2- If my husband/wife/child/parent/loved one needs surgery or has a heart attack or is in an auto accident, etc, etc, shouldn't I be with them?
#3- How do hospital personnel feel about this admonition?
#4- And don't they ever go home?
#5- How long is this directive supposed to be in force?
#6- By this logic, they should send everyone home and close the doors of each hospital; maybe then the phenomenon will disappear.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 03:31 PM

More good questions.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 04:19 PM

That set of symptoms Black Walnut gave us (see below) - they sound pretty like normal slightly-under-the-weather health to me. If everyone who feels like that assumes they've got SARS and presses the panic button, the statistics will go through the roof.

I'd take it that whoever produced that list meant was, if you've any reason to think you've been in contact with someone who's got it, those are the things to watch out for.

I was much more reassured by that second bit: "SARS feels VERY severe and acute when you get it...like being hit by a MAC truck, like you'll never breathe again." Though that could equally apply to a bad dose of flu.

But as springhopper points out, if/when it hits places in Africa's famine belt, God help them. Or Iraq. The flu epidemic at the end of the Great War killed more people than the war itself, they say - and that was very largely because millions of people were so worn out and under-nourished, and their immune system had been shot to hell. (Or as they'd have said in those days "their resistance was low").

"Symptoms of SARS:
Fever- a fever (measured temperature greater than 100.4°F [>38.0°C])
Headaches
General feeling of discomfort
Body aches
mild respiratory symptoms
and a dry, nonproductive cough"


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 05:18 PM

Acute doesn't have anything to do with severity, although it sounds like it should. It means the disease/condition isn't a recurring one.

The opposite of 'acute' is 'chronic' - something that occurs repeatedly. A cold is acute (but usually not severe), allergies are chronic; a sprain is acute, osteoarthritis is chronic.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:15 PM

"Stay out of the hospitals?" That's what I normally do. It has been working great so far, but I would not claim it as an infallible method, necessarily.

I generally avoid doctors, along much the same line of reasoning...but make exceptions to that if absolutely necessary.

I generally avoid vacinnations and prescription drugs, again, along the same line of reasoning. (Sort of like avoiding cigarettes and alcoholism and gambling.)

The A.M.A. is really troubled by people like me. We're bad for business.

By the way, it's just a cold (what I've got). On the scale of 1 to 10 (10 being worst) I'd give it about a 5.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:18 PM

ON the other hand, LH, there are doctors like mine, who may be members of the AMA, who does his damnedest to keep me out of the hospital and off prescription drugs!


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Jeri
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 07:37 PM

LH, hospitals are great places to catch stuff. I worked in them for about 18 years. I'd move, have colds off and on for about six months then went to 3 or 4 times a year until I went somewhere else, then it would all happen again. I've been taking echinacia (off and on) since last Nov, and the last cold I had was in Oct. (First winter I can remember in my life with no cold.) I don't know if it's the echinacia or I've been lucky, but it sure isn't hurting anything!

By the way, I hope I'm wrong about the 'tip of the iceberg' thing. It's mainly my cynicism about human nature that makes me believe attempts at quarantine aren't going to be as effective as they should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 08:00 PM

Sounds like you found the right doctor, Kat. There definitely are some very good ones.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:22 PM

He's an osteopath, for starters, LH, that helps.

Jeri, I'd heard it was easier in CHina for them to enforce quarantines because of their restrictive society, video cameras monitoring the streets, etc. to make sure people stayed put. Of course that's something we could never allow in our country unless it was part of the patriot act...:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 10:35 PM

Jeri, you are oh so right about hospitals. On the other hand you can avoid some things in hospitals because they tend to label everything. Like, I never go in one of them doors labeled "staff." Who needs that? At least they keep it in a room!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 02:03 AM

Personal attack removed - jc


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 02:06 AM

LaughKat-

I know you believe you created "the catspaw miricle"....but physician ....you havn't healed yourself.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 04:26 AM

Yeah, and you're spellin' still ain't for shit either Garg.......I thought you got a spell check but it's reassuring to know that some things never change.....like you and your stale bullshit.....and your underwear and socks............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 05:24 AM

Hell, the gargler hasn't split in two, has he? Like some kind of amoeba reproducing itself...


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 04:08 PM

Wall Street Journal - Friday 04/25/03 - SARS is believed to have mutated into multiple viral varients based on differing symptoms of Hong Kong cases.


POLIO cases increased four fold.   According to the US-CDC there were 1,920 confimed cases of polio were reported by laboratories in 2002, up from 483 the previous year.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,Cluin
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 05:51 PM

Can "Captain Tripps" be far behind?    ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Peg
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 12:08 PM

That's "Captain Trips" Cluin!;)

I found myself thinking the same thing actually...but I don't think we will find that this was a virus engineered by the US government. Still and all, China does have an enormous population so one wonders about the proposed efficacy of a virus that wipes out 6% of the population...but by that logic, some madman would just as likely have introduced it into India, or parts of Africa, or the USA for that matter...

Captain Trips was an idea that turned into a catastrophe because of an accident...and fictional, to boot. But King was onto something way back then, when he posited a world in which the most likely source of Armageddon would be a bug created in a military laboratory for the purpose of killing.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 05:47 PM

Sorry to interrupt people, but here's the Report Global Security got 22 March

                   

SLUG: 2-301126 Asia Pneumonia         DATE:         NOTE NUMBER:
DATE=3/22/2003TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORTTITLE=ASIA PNEUMONIA NUMBER=22-301129BYLINE=KATHERINE MARIADATELINE=HONG KONGCONTENT=VOICED AT:INTRO: China's Minister of Health says doctors in southern China did not recognize that many pneumonia patients were suffering from a deadly new disease. The disease, now known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, could be linked to outbreaks in 13 countries as V-O-A's Katherine Maria reports.TEXT: China's Minister of Health Zhang Wenkang is admitting the spread of a new virus in China's southern Guangdong region might have gone unnoticed for several months. Mr. Zhang addressed the media on a rare visit to Hong Kong on Saturday./// ZHANG ACT IN MANDARIN EST & FADE /// He says that over the past two years in Guangdong, 800 out of five thousand pneumonia cases surveyed were considered atypical, but those cases were not the same as the cases in Hong Kong. He adds that while the recent pneumonia outbreak could be related to similar outbreaks overseas, southern China is not necessarily where the new virus originated. In China's Guangdong province, at least five people died last month in an outbreak that sickened three hundred. Since then, the capital city Beijing has reported more deaths from suspected SARS. China recently invited international experts to help trace the sickness, but some experts accuse China of doing too little, too late to prevent the spread of SARS. However, W-H-O is reporting progress in the diagnosis and treatment of SARS. Speaking alongside the Chinese Minister of Health on Saturday, a World Health Organization doctor says new laboratory studies reinforce theories that the virus is related to measles and mumps. Shigeru Omi is a medical expert with the W-H-O./// OMI ACT ///Just last night W-H-O announced that a laboratory has succeeded in growing what may be the infectious agent in cell culture. This is a major step toward the development of a diagnostic test. /// END ACT ///The disease starts with flu-like symptoms but quickly attacks a patient's respiratory system, say doctors.Hong Kong health authorities revealed last week that a visiting Guangdong doctor infected seven hotel guests and a local resident. Those cases then spread the disease in Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore and Vietnam. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control said Friday that the number of suspected cases of SARS there has doubled since the beginning of the week. Hong Kong remains one of the worst hit cities. One more pneumonia patient died on Saturday bringing the death toll in the city to seven. Two-hundred-22 patients are being treated while 210 are confirmed SARS cases. And while seven patients have recovered, thirty-eight people remain in intensive care. The number of patients in Hanoi, many of them hospital staff, has climbed to at least sixty. The U-S State Department suspended travel by its officials and diplomats to Vietnam on Saturday, citing reduced availability of adequate medical facilities. (SIGNED)NEB/HK/KM/MH/MEM


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Cluin
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 01:51 AM

Dis just in...
Dey's 2 cases SARS been found in Newfoundland.
Seems one feller's got a SAR arse and t`other's got a SAR t'roat.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 12:57 PM

Dat's right, bye! An' I just heard dis from me son, Jimmy, in St. John's...he's got a SAR jaw and a SAR eye too. Seems he got in a punch-up at de bar last night wit 'tree guys from St. Pierre! Lard t'underin' Jaysus....she's gettin' dangerous out dere, byes!

As for Orillia, half the people in town have colds...but I doubt that any of them have SARS. It's a good time to invest in Kleenex stocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM

Pears to be a little buggery and ass lickin goin on with the Newfie inbreds


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 12:29 PM

WHO reports eight deaths from SARS in China yesterday. Of course, they don't tell you about the 12 (out of the approximately 1.5 billion residents) who died from slipping on piles of panda poop and hitting their head on a rock.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 04:16 PM

That's not the point, folks. Of course many more people have died from many other things. The masks and rules and regulations surrounding SARS aren't for people who have died, but for those of us who have not. The issue is keeping it under control. It's easiest to eliminate it or control something like this in a country with facilities to manage quarantine.
People used to laugh at worries about garbage and air and Great Lakes water quality too, back when something could have been done about it. It wasn't killing a lot of people, so it didn't seem to matter. Then it went out of control.
I don't think it would hurt anyone to come to Toronto, as long as they are not at real risk of needing to go to into a SARS facility at some point, but I just don't care for the comparisons to car accidents and deaths from eating bad apples.

In my humble opinion,

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 04:26 PM

I think it is important to hear from people who are in thick of it, so to speak, such as black walnut, than to go on about what we perceive from news sources, only.

beadie, was it really necessary to include a racial slur in your posting? "Panda poop & hitting their head on a rock?"


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 09:56 AM

kat:


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM

kat:
    Sorry about the dysfunctional post above.

    My apologies to all of the pandas who may have been offended by my earlier comment. (Seriously, when making a comment about China that requires an analogy to a particular animal indigenous to that nation, what better than the panda?)

After spending thirty years in various and sundry emergency rooms, ICUs, infectious disease wards and the like, I cannot help but be put off by the public's inordinate fear of these bugs. Hygiene, hand washing, common sense, symptomatic treatment and judicious use of antibiotics where appropriate will deal with the problem (Anthrax, what Anthrax?).

. . . . But it sure is a great way to sell newspapers . . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 01:32 PM

I'm not sure I understand what the WHO gets out of the selling of newspapers. But I'm pretty sure that the effects of WHO advisories is big news.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM

WHO. like CDC, puts out a whole lot of advisories that never make the front page, largely because of the fact that the subject isn't amenable to sensationalism. When the papers and broadcasters decide that an issue like SARS can be used to good advantage, watch out! I would suggest that there is a substantial amount of editorializing, enhancing, emphasizing, and general massaging to make the story sexier between the time that the WHO advisory is released and when the next edition hits the front porch. It is stories like this that turn normally respected media into clones of the Enquirer (SARS Made Bigfoot Rape Me and Father My Lovechild!).

   SARS is, undoubtedly, a significant public health problem, especially for a public that is woefully uninformed about management of such problems. But it is no more likely to be the end of the world as we know it than was AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, Anthrax, Yellow Fever, Polio, Swine Flu, or any other you might name.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 02:06 PM

beadie, I still don't see why it requires an analogy to a particular animal indigenous to that nation... the whole statement just seems like a racial slur which served no purpose, but that's just my opinion.

I am sure the benefit of your experience would have been of great interest to the very careful healthcare workers who have either died of SARS or been made very ill by it. Sheesh!


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM

Toronto's door is open again to visitors. Certain wings of hospitals are allowing health workers to take off their masks again. It's a beautiful sunny day here with the trees just beginning to burst into bits of green. Spring has sprung! Gloom be gone.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 05:15 PM

Kat:
   Since when is referring to a geopolitical entity as the source of the offending bug a racist slur? And, for that matter, which of the myriad races that reside in China was I slurring?

   I doubt that the healthcare workers who were first infected and made ill or killed by the bug were all that careful, as the virulent nature of the disease was not known at the time. As in most epidemics spawned by new organisms, the first to contact it are hardest hit. More's the pity, but that only goes to demonstrate the danger of ignorance. These folks were ignorant (not a slam, just recognizing that they had no understanding of the bug) of the danger and were victimized. How many healthcare workers are being infected today? Considerably less, I would suppose, because of the tendency to use (dare I reprise) proper hygiene, hand washing, common sense, symptomatic treatment and judicious use of antibiotics where appropriate.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:41 PM

Some guy on the radio says that it's a virus so masks are a waste of time. My son's a virologist, and I still don't understand the difference between a virus, and a bacterium. Only explanation I got was that one can live on its own, and the other requires a host. Me I'm out if guests call.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:55 PM

A virus is a set of pieces of protein, which does absolutely nothing on its own. Once it gets into your cells, it takes over the cellular machinery, forcing your cell to make duplicate virii until there are so many the cell bursts. This is how they inflict damage. Bacteria are independent cells. Many bacteria do not need a host for any reason, and are not harmful. Those bacteria that are dangerous produce some toxic substance, either as a byproduct of their digestion process or as part of their cell wall. A virus is smaller, which is why some precautions are ineffective; antibiotics only work on bacteria, because they are targeted at the bacterium's cell wall.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 03:57 PM

beadie, I just wish you'd said it that way in the first place, I mean what you just said as an explanation of them not knowing it was so contagious, etc. I know it may seem overly-sensitive, but intimating ignorance by joking about them slipping on pando poo and hitting their head on a rock seemed a slur to Chinese to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 04:03 PM

The spirit of Hester walks!!¦¬]
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 07:26 PM

50 suspected cases in NYC.
Several Chinese officials have been fired for covering up or minimizing the outbreak.

No known cure but you may avoid infection by washing your hands.
Sounds like a plan to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Li'l Aussie Bleeder
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 07:42 PM

A certain Canadian Musician almost cleared a maquee of festival-goers last weekend at a festival in Western Australia, by telling them that he caught 'The SARS Express' from Toronto via Hong Kong to Australia. He omitted to mention that he came here at the beginning of March before all this business became such a scare. Now going back to Toronto via Hong Kong, that could be another matter!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:04 PM

I'm not sure that in this context references to moose droppings when referring to the deaths in Toronto (this being "an analogy to a particular animal indigenous to that nation") would go down too well either.

Anyway, look after yourselves Toronto Mudcatters. The impression seems to be that things are under control.

I was a bit uneasy reading reports of politicians wading in, and sounding more concerned about the financial costs of a travel embargo, rather than whether it just might reduce the danger.

I'd have thought the last thing you'd want when you are trying to avoid a possible epidemic would be a load of stragers coming in and out, and distractions like that, making it necessary to take extra precautions to cut out additional risks of spreading something that isn't fully understood.

Shades of "Jaws" or "An Enemy of the People"...


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:24 PM

The fact that the genome of the SARS virus is different enough from other known viruses that there is at least some speculation that it is comes from a Chinese biological weapons experiment gone very wrong. See SARS CRISIS: DON'T RULE OUT LINKAGES TO CHINA'S BIOWARFARE from the Jamestown Foundation, which draws heavily on Russian speculation. It's been picked up by some news media; I found it first in a newspaper in India.

I know nothing about this organization. I even hesitate to mention it, but I think the 2nd & 3rd hand reports will be further digested by the news media with less of the conditionality than is in the Jamestown Foundation report.

Here is part of the conclusion:
As of late April, it remains impossible to conclude from the reported scientific research that the SARS virus is related to a man-made, or indeed, a military program. The key remaining question in this context involves the precise animal origin of this virus. If that animal source cannot be determined, then Kolesnikov's suggestion that it is man made deserves investigation.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 08:58 PM

Similar to the suggestions thta AIDS was the result of an American biological warfare experiment that went wrong.

And equally convincing...


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 09:14 PM

Scientists have been warning for years that certain farming conditions found in places like China were an accident waiting to happen. I read an article years ago about the danger of a virus jumping species from swine to duck, for example, due to the practice of allowing both species to use the same pond. Duck ingests pig droppings and under the right conditions nature takes it course.

Most recover from this one so stay healthy and we'll see.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: beadie
Date: 01 May 03 - 08:57 AM

Kat, et al.

   My rant was not about the way in which the professionals are handling this disease so much as it is about the way the popular media is blowing it into a much more sensational crisis than it needs to be (hence, the "selling newspapers" bit). I apologize if my meaning was obscured.

I have a great deal of respect and trust for the health guardian organizations (WHO, CDC) and the local agencies (with, perhaps, the exception of the Beijing Health Department) seem to be doing a terrific job of informing the public of what is being done and what individuals need to worry about or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 01 May 03 - 05:21 PM

I think the very lack of a vaccine suggests that it's not a weapon. Anyone working to weaponize microbes works on getting a cure, and a killed-virus vaccine would be about as easy to make as the weaponized virus itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 03 - 05:25 PM

Thanks, beadie. I appreciate the explanation. Sorry if I was too pedantic.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST, heric
Date: 05 May 03 - 08:50 PM

I dunno. I'm not sure how dismissive of this event I should be on the grounds of media hype. After all, if you get this thing, you have a one in seven chance of dying. The virus can live for four or more days outside the body. The growth rate has not been brought under control. The mutation rate may be high. Now of course I don't think the sky is falling, but Bejjing, a city of 14 million, is almost shutdown. India has been inspired to say it has no cases when it used to have 19.

No, of course this isn't anything like AIDS or Ebola, but the death rate is far, far higher than West Nile, and the economic impact is already staggering, and growing.

Anyway, the only reason I meant to post was to point out a cite which has fascinated me since this thing started, although I have no undersatanding of its sponsor:

http://lassesen.com/sars/history.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 05 May 03 - 09:27 PM

Interesting analysis, but hard to view the page. See the New Scientist article mentioned near the beginning.

This site recalculated death rates by leaving out all those still sick (as suggested by the article) & come out much, much higher. The expectation seems to be that once all cases are resolved the death rate will be @10%

A couple of statements seem important to me:
The global CFR has risen steadily since the start of the epidemic but this is to be expected, say epidemiologists contacted by New Scientist. Early in an epidemic, a significant proportion of the total number of cases have neither recovered nor died. Some will eventually die and so move from the denominator to the numerator of the CFR, raising its value. The CFR moves towards the true value as time passes, unless the number of new cases explodes.

With many cases still unresolved, a better current estimate of the deadliness of SARS may be the number of deaths as a proportion of resolved cases. Those numbers for Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore are 15.8, 18.3 and 13.7 per cent. But these too could be misleading if, for example, it takes longer to recover from a disease than to die from it.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: mouldy
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:13 AM

Well my other half is out in the thick of it all at the moment. He mailed me from China about 11 days ago to say that paranoia was sweeping through Shenyang, where he works, and that he still reckoned the Chinese authorities were lying about the scale of things. He took himself off to Thailand for 2 weeks to escape, and is still there, due to return to China at the end of this week. This was an already planned trip over the (now cancelled) Chinese public holiday, and just brought forward a week or two. Now from his latest mail it looks like he may have to be quarantined for 2 weeks when he gets back, as his route in takes him via Beijing. The EU people on his project have pulled out, leaving no guidelines (it's an EU funded project), and his own company aren't issuing any either. So he is being pragmatic about it, and is quite prepared to be quarantined, he says, and put up at the EU's expense! He said he was fully expecting to get back and find that everyone had gone home!

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:31 AM

96 people out of a hundred will survive the illness. Think positive and get early treatment. There are worst things out there than SARS


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: sian, west wales
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:29 AM

I went in to give blood last Tuesday and, after going through all the usual questions about general health and sexual activity, they tacked on "have you been to A, B, C or Toronto since November 2002". November???? Well, yes, I had been home for Christmas so landed in Toronto, and also took a day shopping there ... so I got sat behind a special screen for a nurse to 'speak' to me.

As it happens, this nurse is also Canadian so we had a good gab. Seems that, until the previous Friday, they were only quizzing for people who had been in Toronto (or other infected area) in the last 4 weeks. Red Cross had upped the stakes only in the last 4 days. If I had had ANY sort of cough, cold or flu-like illness since returning, I would have been PERMANENTLY excluded from giving blood!

Coincidentally, I had only just been thinking that I had somehow got through the winter without my usual cold.

Seems to me that permanent exclusion is a bit drastic! I have bog-standard blood so I'm always being asked to come in. If I'd had even a sniffle - as I usually do - they'd have one less donor. There must be a better system.

(Already am permanently excluded from giving in Canada because I've lived in the UK.)

Sheesh.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Jeri
Date: 06 May 03 - 05:47 PM

SINCE NOVEMBER??!! I wonder if they've changed what they think the incubation period is, although I don't know many (any?) respiratory viruses that take 6 months to make you sick. I wonder what the disqualifying time limit is in the US. I'm out of the blood-donor loop too. Although I used to give regularly (they used to call me up and make an appointment because I have a slightly uncommon blood type), I don't these days because I get a migraine almost every time I donate.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:17 PM

4% says you GUEST? Are you a credible source?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&ncid=753&e=6&u=/nm/20030506/sc_nm/sars_deathrate_dc


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: mouldy
Date: 07 May 03 - 02:33 AM

Latest news (on BBC Radio) from Hong Kong mentions a possible 20%.

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Bagpuss
Date: 07 May 03 - 11:35 AM

A New Scientist article which looks at the death rates from SARS particularly as it affects different age groups.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 07 May 03 - 09:29 PM

Peg's reference to flu mortality rates is most apt. It is likely the press has reported this on a different proportion than other "flu" type outbreaks because they have not gotten expected answers from national and world health organizations, as in the past. SARS has not shown normal affect in culturation with a producable vaccine and this has led to medical care facilities to follow stringent bio-security measures in that any average patient population is already at risk of furthur infection, and, often at a weak immune level.

It seems too often that when simple sound-bites cannot further be ground into pablum for the six-o'clock news the press invents its own good news-bad news horror stories for the all important advertising dollar. Yes, SARS is bad news in that it has not been controlled, and we are forced away from loved ones in their time of need. If there is good news, the overall rate of mortality is the same as any bad flu. But, as with any bad flu, it is havoc on the elderly.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 08 May 03 - 08:23 AM

I've been thinking how easy it is in our culture to dismiss the seriousness of an illness by saying that it mostly affects 'the elderly'. (Not that you're doing that, Doug - it's just a comment in general). As I near the age of 50, I find it a bit squeamish that they are talking this week about the serious effect of SARS on 'the elderly', meaning a high risk (death rate of 50%)for those over 60. 60?!?! I used to think that the term elderly referred to people in their 80's and 90's. But even if the label was only referring to the most senior of senior citizens, I'd still think it was a pretty terrible way to have to suffer or die.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 May 03 - 12:21 PM

According to new estimates, less than 1 percent of patients aged 24 or younger die. This rises to 6 percent for those aged 25 to 44, 15 percent for those aged 45 to 64 and more than 50 percent for those aged over 65. Associated Press

The Spanish Influenza, with an eventual toll of about 22 million, had a fatality rate of 3%.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,ari
Date: 09 May 03 - 12:48 PM

hey all

from singapore (yes sars country i know...)

been pretty bad around here with a food distribution center hit and all, but things are starting to look up. M praying all this bad news is over and done with soon


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: mouldy
Date: 10 May 03 - 04:18 AM

The other half is starting back from Bankok to Shenyang today, but is detouring after all via Shanghai, as he has heard Beijing airport is about closed down. T'will be interesting to find out if the rest of his project members are still there when he gets back!

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Burke
Date: 23 May 03 - 06:58 PM

An animal source for the virus may have been found, masked palm civets — a catlike animal that is served as food.

Andrea, how were your other half's travels? How crazy is it in China? Ari, what about Singapore?

What about Toronto with the new suspected cases? Or is Mad Cow the new disease of the week?


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 25 May 03 - 03:23 PM

Don't forget West Nile Virus! I think I'm going to have to build a mosquito proof hut in the garden.

At least the news isn't only about SARS anymore.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 26 May 03 - 09:57 AM

Well, it turns out that the new outbreak has people who have visited Scarborough General Hospital between May 12 and 23 isolating themselves and calling a hotline. I was there twice. I'm at home, although I can't afford the time off work and I've been dialing the "hotline" for 2 hours and can't get through.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 26 May 03 - 10:40 AM

There must be a huge number of people in your situation. It must be very frustrating. Keep trying the 'hotline'. I hope you get through soon. Hang in there!

~b.w.

(P.S. People reading from outside Toronto may not know that the Scarborough General is just one of the hospitals affected.)


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 May 03 - 01:07 PM

Three new deaths and eight new cases reported in Toronto, Monday May 26.

Excerpts from:

Wall Street Journal


FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2003

Theories about the origin of SARS:

At a recent conference, a member of Russia's respected Academy of Medicine stated that the SARS virus was a man-made cocktail of mumps and measles, according to Russian news reports.

The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, has written that "...there are compelling reasons, however unsettling, to at least ask whether there might be any linkage between SARS and China's biological-warfare efforts."

Nobody yet knows exactly where SARS comes from, it has been traced to southern China's Guangdong province, where millions of birds, farm animals and people live in close proximity, creating a potential breeding ground for new viruses such as SARS.

Mr. Wickramasinghe is a professor of applied mathematics and astronomy at Cardiff University in Britain, and his SARS theory is being published in the Lancet, an august scientific journal.

"With respect to the SARS outbreak, a prima facie case for a possible space incidence can already be made," Prof. Wickramasinghe and his colleagues write in a letter published Friday in the Lancet.

In explaining the origin of SARS, Prof. Wickramasinghe suggests that the virus hitched a ride on a comet and then drifted down to Earth. He notes that two years ago Indian scientists launched a high-altitude balloon and recovered a large amount of bacteria from a height of 41 kilometers (25.4 miles). But attempts to culture several of the "unusual" bacterial strains failed. "The conclusion is that micro-organisms are coming from space," says Prof. Wickramasinghe, who is also director of the Cardiff Centre of Astrobiology.

He has now expanded on those findings to explain SARS. "A small amount of the culprit virus introduced into the stratosphere could make a first tentative fallout east of the great mountain range of the Himalayas, where the stratosphere is thinnest," he and his colleagues write in the Lancet.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 May 03 - 01:30 PM

From Today's IRISH TIMES

It has emerged that a suspected SARS case is reported in Donegal A possible case of the SARS virus is being monitored at Letterkenny General Hospital.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 26 May 03 - 02:48 PM

Heard someone on the radio today suggesting that our Minister for Health doesn't know his SARS from his Ebola.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 09 Jun 03 - 11:38 AM

SARS. Ugh. My niece is delivering twins at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto today. Some of you are up-to-date on SARS and will know how seriously enormous that is.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 07:39 AM

Well she had them!!!!, and her husband was able to be with her (he hadn't been allowed in to any of her appointments during pregnancy because of the SARS restrictions). Twins, 7lb 11 oz EACH, and one of them is in Sick Kid's Hospital now awaiting heart surgery. I wish we could visit, but we aren't allowed in!!!!!
(Yes, SARS does still affect some of us in Toronto).

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,mink
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 09:16 AM

Congrats & best wishes to all concerned, Walnut.
Hope the poorly one is soon on the mend and that it won't be long til you can visit & have a cuddle.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 10 Jun 03 - 12:50 PM

Thanks mink
(and Kat)
(and Steve)
~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 08:25 AM

THE NEW NORMAL ISN'T NORMAL ("The New Normal" is what they are calling the increased restrictions due to SARS):

The twins are almost 2 weeks old. The baby boy has had heart surgery and will be in hospital for several more weeks. Because of the SARS restrictions at Toronto hospitals, only 2 people (parents or caregivers) are allowed to visit any one child. Obviously in this case, the two parents are the visitors. The other twin isn't even allowed in, so my niece, who is breastfeeding, has to seriously limit her visiting time with the twin who is in the hospital. The sick baby needs to be held, rocked, and sung to, but parents (who do not live in Toronto) can do very little of it, and the rest of us who live in the city and could do it are not allowed in!

That's "The New Normal". In this case it is very harsh and seems very wrong.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: black walnut
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 10:36 AM

(Just to be clear, the WORST part of all this is that the newborn twin isn't allowed into the hospital, which means that my niece is VERY limited on how long she can stay with her sick baby.)


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: Raptor
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 03:57 PM

2 New cases of sars in St.Johns NFLD Today at the Hospital

Buddy came in with a sar back and a sar Knee.

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: SARS
From: GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 10:51 PM

What are you? Stupid or sompn'? Sars is a illness you retread! Them guys in Newfieland have probally got a soar back and a soar knee. Better than a soar you-know-what, eh? Get a job you looser!

- BDiBR


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