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[P]
SARS Identified, but New Warning Issued

By imrdkl in News
Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:41:55 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded their travel alert for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) to a warning today (April 2), even though their press conference yesterday was slightly upbeat, due to the lack of new cases in Vietnam, and the hope that it is contained there. The number of cases continues to increase in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada, and the WHO recommendation concerns primarily those countries. There also still seems to be some doubt as to whether the virus is truly airborne, although recent infection trends are unnerving, including an apartment block where nearly half the residents are now infected in Hong Kong. Indeed, the WHO report states that:

... developments have suggested environmental routes of transmission from a SARS infected person which may be related to contamination of common systems that link rooms or flats together.
Presumably, these "routes of contamination" include ventilation, as well as water and septic utilities.


SARS has a mortality rate of about four percent, according to the most recent estimates - but it doesn't just kill the weak and infirm like influenza. SARS can kill an otherwise-healthy patient in a matter of days. In any case, it's clear that SARS is much worse than a common cold, even though the virus itself appears to be a coronavirus, strains of which cause roughly half of all colds. In spite of that relationship, one of the major difficulties with the coronavirus, besides there being no known vaccine available, is that it can't be cultured in a laboratory. This means that living, infected tissue samples must be obtained to learn more about it, and develop treatments and/or a vaccine.

In any case, the identification of the primary cause for SARS now appears to be complete. In fact, the CDC identified the coronavirus as the cause more than a week ago, but it's taken time for the WHO and other international organizations to accept the American's findings, and some doubt clearly remains as to the exact nature of SARS. However, there has now been a test developed, which allows doctors to state conclusively whether a patient actually has the SARS coronavirus, even though the WHO is still considering a pneumovirus as a another possible "player" in the infection.

It's also been announced today that the WHO has finally been approved for travel into the Guangdong province of China, believed to be the origin of the virus, and where there has been very little information forthcoming regarding the severity and infection rate. Only several hours ago in fact, Chinese officials in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, stated that 361 people were infected during March alone. The original announcement that the Chinese had finally agreed to allow WHO doctors into Guangdong actually came late last week, but as yet there is no independent research being conducted in Guangdong, and it still sounds like the researchers will be limited in their access when they arrive.

While general panic does seem to be breaking out in the most heavily infected regions of the world, the situation in the US is still an emerging picture, according to authorities, with some 16 suspected cases in California, and a few more in New York and Seattle, where doctors are urging caution.

Sadly, the doctor who originally identified SARS, became a victim of the disease last Sunday. I predict that the SARS virus will be named for his efforts, although that honor might not be among his last wishes.

This is an extremely rapidly moving story, and the reader will certainly find more insightful updates in the comments below. Also see the CDC FAQ.

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Poll
Do you think SARS is airborne?
o Yes, over long distances 17%
o Only in direct proximity to a sneeze or cough 71%
o Probably not, but you can't have too many surgical masks around the house 10%
o No 1%

Votes: 87
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o warning
o press conference
o WHO recommendation
o coronaviru s
o identified the coronavirus
o test
o approved for travel
o announceme nt
o panic
o breaking out
o emerging picture
o 16 suspected cases
o New York
o Seattle
o became a victim
o CDC FAQ
o Also by imrdkl


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SARS Identified, but New Warning Issued | 152 comments (133 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
Local News from Albany NY Area (3.33 / 3) (#1)
by HidingMyName on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:58:29 AM EST

Interesting story.

At least 2 of the cases were found in Upstate NY, near Albany (Rensselaer County), and are being treated.

Yeah, just my f`ing luck.. (none / 0) (#53)
by rkh on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:27:48 PM EST

I live in Troy, which is where you are talking about. Yay for me! I've read that the two were recently in China, specifically Guangdong. It looks like they caught the bug on the plane ride home, though. Here's a link to a local article. I wish I knew who they were, so that I could stay out of their neighborhood..

[ Parent ]
Al Qaeda (1.63 / 22) (#6)
by GRiNGO on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:49:40 AM EST

Im suprised all the fucking yanks in the room havent tried to blame this on Al Qaeda or Saddam Hussein.

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


Conspiracy Theory (none / 0) (#11)
by Anatta on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:20:29 AM EST

I heard on NPR yesterday morning that it appears that the first case of the SARS virus can be traced to Room 911 of the hotel in China.

Coincidence, I'm sure.


My Music
[ Parent ]

they don't know where the first one came from... (3.33 / 3) (#35)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:11:24 PM EST

nice to see the NPR is practicing responsible reporting.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Here's the broadcast (none / 0) (#52)
by Anatta on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:19:34 PM EST

Actually, I think what they were referring to was the first case that people know of, that seems to have sprung up randomly in that hotel in Guang Jong (sp?) province in China. The guy who mentioned it was Dr. Arthur Reingold, head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.

Here [Real Audio] is the link to the show. Scroll to about 19 minutes into the broadcast to hear.

It's obviously just a coincidence as I said, but it's interesting nonetheless.


My Music
[ Parent ]

Guang Dong (none / 0) (#132)
by odaiwai on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 10:54:57 AM EST

Guang Dong is the Province.

Foshan City, south west of GuangZhou city, apparently contained the index case.  A man, who passed it on to at least four others, but not to any of his four sons, all of whom lived with him.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

More like nonsense [nt] (none / 0) (#46)
by GRiNGO on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:23:11 PM EST



--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
It was the Syrians (1.00 / 1) (#17)
by jubal3 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:35:55 AM EST

Those hateful Islamist er, I mean Baathist yea, thats it, they are all in league with Saddam! Kill! Kill! Kill!


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Actually (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by Cro Magnon on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:49:07 AM EST

I've HEARD that theory that SARS is a bio weapon!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Rumours in email (none / 0) (#133)
by odaiwai on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 11:03:52 AM EST

Yeah, I head in email that Saddam launched SARS.

I've also heard that Bill Gates is giving away money for forwarding email, there are drugs which can enlarge both my penis *and* my breasts, and there are enough cheap sources of viagra and cheap mortgages to make me hard forever.

As a mail admin, I'm constantly tempted to put in spam filters for the bulshit du jour, so it comes up with the message:

WARNING Will.Robinson@example.com: This message has a BullShit Score of 9.8:  Please go to http://www.snopes.com and check it out.

Hmmm, that'd make a great Mail::SpamAssassin style module.  

dave "X-BullShit-Flag: Yes"
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

You're joking, but .. (4.50 / 2) (#24)
by gbd on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:56:45 AM EST

.. a few years ago, when the first cases of West Nile Virus began showing up in mosquitos and bird corpses in New York, people (both inside and outside of the government, including at the CIA) speculated that America was under biological attack from Saddam Hussein.

In related news, New York Yankees fans are blaming the recent injury to shortstop Derek Jeter on French president Jacques Chirac.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

remember the Anthrax-laden envelopes? (4.50 / 4) (#83)
by misanthrope112 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:31:41 PM EST

Everyone thought that was Saddam or Al-queida mailing those as well.  Then they found out that the anthrax was genetically engineered by the U.S. Govt and the story just quietly disappeared.  Not saying the govt mailed it, but that they didn't want to deal with the huge scandal of, a) the US govt engineering a bio-weapon (that was later used on the US population), and 2) how it was stolen, and which insider did the stealing.  It cracks me up that people are so malleable that they are actually outraged at the official outrage of the week, and easily forget about what they're supposed to forget about.  I've started to call CNN stories "the two minute hate."   It doesn't endear me to my news-addicted co-workers, but dissent usually doesn't.

[ Parent ]
Didn't we sell Saddam anthrax? (none / 0) (#125)
by Gooba42 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:45:06 PM EST

I don't remember where the list was exactly but I thought anthrax was on the list of things we gave Saddam. It suggests a possible link between Saddam and an attack on the US with US made anthrax.

Not that I believe it for a minute, but it's worth tossing it out for the play value.

[ Parent ]

yes, but-- (none / 0) (#127)
by misanthrope112 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:41:39 PM EST

There was zero evidence that Saddam was involved in that.  If the govt had found any link at all between Saddam and that Anthrax, we would be hearing about it every 7 seconds in the news.  Remember that the CIA considered Saddam to be no threat to the US, or even to his immediate neighbors.   It drives me nuts that the news people talk about Saddam's WMD with every breath as if we absolutely know they have them, even though every place they've known to look has been empty.  The UN ran down US leads time and time again, and every time it was a wild goose chase.  US intelligence on Saddam's alleged WMD was completely without value.  

I would be ecstatic if someone on Fox or CNN actually had the integrity to say "We THINK Saddam has WMD, because the US government, including Donald Rumsfeld, sold chemical weapons, and anthrax, and nuclear technology, to the dictator back in the 1980s.  So we ASSUME he still has them, for safety's sake, but we don't really know."  That would be an honest appraisal of the situation, but it's never going to happen.   The implication is always that current US intelligence sources are telling us the he has chem/bio weapons, which is, I'd guess, a complete fabrication.  

[ Parent ]

Come to think of it... (none / 0) (#136)
by Gooba42 on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 03:26:31 PM EST

We went to war with the notion we were out to get somebody for their WMD. When it came down to it, we named it "Operation Iraqi Freedom" which suggests we knew it wasn't going to come down to WMD despite the fact that it was WMD that drummed up support.

Sounds like pre-emptive manipulation of the history books. Kids in 10 years or so will get a nice big bold header of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" instead of the big hits of the past "WWI", "WWII", "Korea" and "Vietnam".

[ Parent ]

anti-americans (1.00 / 1) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:01:15 PM EST

Im suprised all the fucking [madlib] antiamericans in the room havent tried to blame this on [madlib] George Bush or [madlib] Donald Rumsfeld.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Poor americans (none / 0) (#48)
by GRiNGO on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:31:54 PM EST

Oh dear why is there so many anti-americans running about. They should all be killed for their own good.

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
i agree (nt) ;-P (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:35:55 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
"Fucking" Yanks (2.00 / 2) (#41)
by mjs on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:56:01 PM EST

Fucking at work is frowned upon *sigh*. Of course, my wife doesn't work here either, so that's two obstacles to overcome before I can join the illustrious ranks of Fucking Yanks. Just wait until tonight, though: I'll tell her it's her patriotic duty...

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

mjs

[ Parent ]

Go ahead big lad (none / 0) (#47)
by GRiNGO on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:25:18 PM EST

Give her one for the commandant and one for the corps!

--
"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings


[ Parent ]
SARS vs. Spanish Flu (4.66 / 12) (#21)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:44:26 AM EST

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. [source]

The Spanish Flu had a mortality rate of only 2.5%. The key point here is the infection rate: In the United States alone, it infected 28% of the population and killed roughly 675,000. Note that hospital conditions back then were obviously much worse than today -- the Spanish Flu virus would have a much lower mortality today (and influenze pandemics of past decades may well have had the same devastating effect, had they occurred that much earlier). In other words, SARS is a much more dangerous critter than even the one that caused the Spanish Flu.

The current estimates of the mortality rate are based on the number of deaths so far. Of the currently infected people, several more will die in the next days, so the rate is slightly higher still. Furthermore, they are based on conditions of intensive care -- a level which can no longer be maintained as soon as hospitals become too overcrowded. One thing that worries me is that mortality in Canada is currently the highest (~10%): This is a country with an excellent health care system (#1 in the UN Human Development Index for some time), and more likely to report accurate data than the Chinese, who have tried to cover up SARS for weeks. Also worrying is the death of Carlo Urbani -- with a 4% mortality rate, his death seems very unlikely. Furthermore, you can bet that he had the best health care and knowledge available. Zero mortality in the US and Europe so far is good news, if it is true. Note that SARS has only spread to these countries recently, though.

We already know that SARS is highly infectious. The key question for the coming months will be whether it can be properly contained, which is obviously much harder in highly populated areas. I'm afraid heavy-handed measures (isolation camps etc.) will be increasingly necessary in concerned areas.

As for conspiracy theories regarding the origin, I don't buy them. The Hong Kong area has repeatedly been the hotbed of pandemics ("Asian flu"s); killer viruses are the most likely to originate in highly populated areas with much animal/human contact. Incidentally, the coronavirus family is very common among various animals. Regardless, if you wanted to engineer a killer critter, it would look very much like SARS.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!

Engineer? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
by dachshund on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:34:45 PM EST

Regardless, if you wanted to engineer a killer critter, it would look very much like SARS.

I've heard this said, but thinking practically, who would want to engineer a virus as difficult to control as SARS? It doesn't make any sense as a weapon, because it would almost certainly come back at the population of any country that released it (unless they engaged in blanket-vaccination, which would be pretty hard to cover up and would almost certainly invite heavy suspicion from other nations.)

Outside of some very reckless and misguided governmental research attempts, the only people who would mess around with a virus like this would be the James Bond billionaire supervillians, out to destroy the world for no particularly adequately explored reason. And perhaps Aum Shinrikyo-type groups, though I'm not sure how many of them have the resources to undertake that sort of research.

[ Parent ]

The Soviets (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by rustball on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:06:50 PM EST

The Soviet Union was over a decade ahead of the Western world in terms of biological agents. Nasty bugs still lurk in dark corridors somewhere in Moscow. You ask if a terrorist group would have the sort of resources to manufacture such agents. I answer that they do, as the only resource you need is money along with a little luck.

How hard would it be to buy samples and information from a disgruntled Russian scientist who is poorly paid? My guess is not very. At least not as hard as it would be to manufacture it yourself.

Another possible avenue for terrorist groups would be: education. Have you noticed that a lot of the people working for Al Quaeda are middle class and highly educated? Engineers, scientists, etc. What would it cost to: Send a group of 10 highly intelligent young recruits to different big universities and make them get degrees in relevant fields like molecular biology/immunology? Not very for what you get in return: 10 highly intelligent and resources PhD holders who have access to top of the line knowledge and resources. Scared yet? All it takes is the proper political/religious motivation, money, and time.

[ Parent ]

Doomsday device (4.25 / 4) (#38)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:36:06 PM EST

You are correct: Biological weapons are horrible tactical weapons, which is why they are almost never used. There are three main uses:

  • Crop killers. Weaken the enemy by killing millions, while most people won't figure out that you were behind the attack (it will look like yet another famine -- blame it on mismanagement).
  • Deterrents against biological weapons. In the WMD game, a class of weapons acts as a deterrent against the same class. Biological weapons can hardly be a deterrent against nuclear weapons because you cannot deploy them as fast (unless you have ICBMs, in which case you probably have nukes, too). You can however place some human agents equipped with biological weapons in the target cities and activate them when needed.

    Biological weapons were already available during WW II, yet, warfare was mostly limited to conventional weapons. If Germany had attacked London with biological weapons, London/the US could have done the same to several German cities: the MAD game of later years in another variant.

  • Doomsday devices. Remember Dr. Strangelove? In that movie, the Soviets built a "doomsday machine" capable of killing 90% of the civilization by covering the world with radioactivity -- much cheaper than trying to keep up in the arms race. Of course, the machine is ultimately set off in the movie. Far from fantasy, doomsday devices were seriously considered by both US and Soviet military strategists.

    A biological doomsday device is much cheaper to build than a nuclear one (and also less reliable). It can be used as a last ditch defense: "If you take me out, I'll unleash exhibit B." However, you must make the enemy aware of the fact that you possess it -- you would probably do that by starting with a smaller scale bio attack on a US town that can be kept under control. Furthermore, you must be able to inflict "unacceptable losses" -- it must be a real doomsday device.

In Saddam's case, the use of a doomsday device makes perfect sense -- he can afford to build it, he can hide it, and he's immoral enough to use it even if his own people suffer. It has been speculated that Baghdad was not taken in 1991 because of the threat of biological weapons. If that is the case, Saddam either no longer possesses biological weapons (unlikely) or the US administration is willing to take the risk, in the belief that it can be contained. For a doomsday device to work, you need someone mad enough to pull the trigger. If Saddam can be eliminated first, that might not happen.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Quick Correction (none / 0) (#29)
by hatshepsut on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:36:43 PM EST

Based on the (radio) news this AM, Canada has been home to 6 SARS-related deaths, there are, however, over 100 people who are thought to be suffering from SARS. This is lower than the 10% mortality rate you mention.

Two of these, I understand, were people who had been infected overseas.

Sorry, no references for any of the above (just going by what I have heard on the radio). My apologies if I have misremembered/misunderstood something.

[ Parent ]

Stats for Canada (5.00 / 1) (#36)
by IAmNos on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:13:12 PM EST

Just checked www.canada.com for stats and here's what we've got.


6 deaths resulting from SARS
151 cases in Canada
(6/157) ~= 3.8% or right near that 4%.

However, if this does become a massive outbreak, that rate is sure to go up as hospitals become overcome.
http://thekerrs.ca
[ Parent ]
Stats (none / 0) (#39)
by Eloquence on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:42:16 PM EST

The current WHO data lists 58 cases and 6 deaths in Canada. This matches the less up-to-date data from the Canadian Dept. of Health. I have no idea where the >100 number comes from.
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Spanish Flu Lethality Higher? (none / 0) (#56)
by mymantra on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:38:53 PM EST

The numbers I've seen for Spanish Flu are 4-5% for caucasian (US, Europe) and up to 40% for isolated populations (NZ Maori, Aleut, etc.).

There are differences with SARS in terms of age-specificity and possibly still transmissibility. The apparent indications that it is Coronavirus rather than Paramyxovirus is concerning given some of the relatives in each group. Flu is Orthomyxovirus.

[ Parent ]

CDC Director: Less Serious Than Influeza (none / 0) (#89)
by Baldrson on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:00:04 AM EST

Susan Gerberding stated in a March 27 Telebriefing:
In fact if there's any good news in SARS right now, it's that the majority of patients do appear to recover and that the death rate is actually lower than what we see with epidemic influenza, about 3.5 percent of the patients have died from the illness. That is still a tragic occurrence for the people who are affected, and their families, and I would never mean to minimize it. But it is fortunate that it is not even more severe.
Since the death rate of the 1918 pandemic was only 2-4% of those infected we can presume that the director of the Centers for Disease Control means to reassure us that the 1918 pandemic wasn't really all that bad and that it was probably 4% rather than 2% fatalities.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Urbani's case (none / 0) (#124)
by cestmoi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:27:26 PM EST

At the end of the CDC press conference announcing Urbani's death, Dr. Gerberding said she believed that Urbani got infected simply because he didn't know he was at risk when he was in Hanoi. He didn't know there was a hazard so he didn't do anything to protect himself.

The fact that he died presumably indicates he was more susceptible to the disease than those who survive. There will probably be some people who get SARS who experience nothing more than a mild cold and there are those, like Urbani, who die from it.

[ Parent ]

Current Canadian SARS Mortality Statistics (none / 0) (#147)
by yst on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:26:59 AM EST

The Globe and Mail, Canada's de facto national paper, is citing SARS infection numbers as follows:

Toronto -- The battle to control SARS continued unabated Sunday, as public health officials in Ontario reported 179 cases, including nine deaths. That's up from 163 probable and suspected cases Saturday of severe acute respiratory syndrome. The death toll rose from eight to nine as a death last week that was being investigated was indeed linked to SARS, said Dr. Colin D'Cunha, Ontario's chief medical officer of health.

[ Parent ]

SARS: HK Garbage Chute Transmission? (4.50 / 2) (#22)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:48:32 AM EST

Coincidentally after submitting the following entry to my diary I found this article had just made it to the FP. The data from Viet Nam is very hopeful. One has to wonder though how good is their reporting system?

Vertical transmission within a Hong Kong apartment complex seems to point to some sort of architectural factor in that case of SARS spread. A girlfriend of mine stationed at the US military base in Taiwan told me she stayed in an apartment complex off base where the garbage was disposed of by dumping it down a chute shared among all the apartments in a vertical line. Air from the chute could easily enter any of the apartments and there was an ongoing effort to cleanse the chute. If the progress of SARS cases were from higher floors to lower floors this would tend to indicate less potential for airborne transmission since the particles would not have to fight gravity and may therefore be more moist. However, the linked article claims the transmission was from lower to upper floors which, if this garbage chute hypothesis is true, does not bode well for the prognosis of the SARS epidemic.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Air forced through the chute (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by flarg on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:39:44 PM EST

Air from the chute could easily enter any of the apartments and there was an ongoing effort to cleanse the chute.

I had one of these in my San Francisco apartment complex.

Everytime someone from the upper level dumped garbage down the chute, the air was compressed and exited through all of various openings, and you could smell the garbage stench for a few seconds everywhere.

During some months, I would sometimes go into a sneezing fit  everytime the upstairs neighbors dumped their garbage, because of all the mold spores/whatever being spread around everywhere.

And those chutes have a curious way of staying moist.

[ Parent ]

chutes... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by Chakotay on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:48:03 AM EST

I currently live in an appartment (in Saint Herblain, near Nantes, France) where we have a chute like that. In French appartment buildings, such chutes are very common. In general, they are not at all moist, though, and once a year they are thoroughly disinfected.

As a matter of fact, one is not allowed to just dump loose garbage in it... It must be put in a plastic bag, limiting sanitary problems.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

HK Practice (5.00 / 1) (#104)
by Baldrson on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:26:34 AM EST

If someone is sick might they be less likely to bother following the regulations and place unpackaged refuse in the chute?

One would presume that similar requirements (for garbage bags placed in refuse chutes) apply in Hong Kong, which has, from what I hear and from my visit there a couple of years ago, good public heath and sanitation.

It would be interesting to get some ground truth from someone who has lived in Hong Kong for an extended period of time.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

10-20% Require Mechanical Respirators (5.00 / 3) (#23)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:54:50 AM EST

SARS has a mortality rate of about four percent

This is misleading. As long as the supply of mechanical respirators remains ahead of the demand for them, the mortality rate will remain about four percent. When the mechanical respirators run out, the mortality rate will rise to between 10% and 20%.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Poll (4.20 / 5) (#25)
by lazyll on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:10:21 PM EST

Do you think SARS is airborne?

What kind of a poll is that?? Polls are supposed to be for opinions. That question can't be debated by uninformed laymans. Our opinions don't matter. The results of that poll are meaningless.

Meaningful Gauge of Public Fear (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:20:30 PM EST

Gauging the fear of SARS is a meaningful exercise.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Well then.. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by lazyll on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:38:48 PM EST

If you want to gauge fear then the question should be about fear. e.g. "How afraid are you of SARS?", or "How worried are you about contracting SARS?".

If you don't ask the question directly then you won't get accurate results.

[ Parent ]
Depends: More operational to get beliefs (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:43:05 PM EST

Gauging fear by subjective terms like "concerned" "afraid" "terrified" etc. is not as useful in prediting behavior than guaging rational fear based on working hypotheses.

The real issue is this: Are people allowed to hold working hypotheses in the absence of "authoritative" declarations or not and if so are the distributions of those working hypotheses relevant to the public's discourse?

In a free and informed society the answers are clearly "yes". In a nanny-state society the answers are "no".

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

I agree.... (none / 0) (#145)
by tcdk on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:01:19 AM EST

I hate these polls where people are asked about stuff that they can't possible know anything about.

So what if 99% of K5's visitors think SARS is airborn? That's a totally useless number.

People are ofcause allowed to express their ideas and fears, but it will not change the nature of the disease.

Nature is not democratic.
--
TC / http://sfbook.com
[ Parent ]

April Fools.. (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by ignatiusst on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:29:33 PM EST

This article (hyperlink == "panic" in the story above) mentions what, IMHO, is the best April Fools prank of 2003:

Growing unease among residents quickly turned to panic Tuesday as an adolescent hoaxer allegedly posted a fake online news report saying the financial capital was about to be declared an infected port due to the atypical pneumonia.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

web hoax & panic (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by cce on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:06:12 PM EST

Dude, that web hoax set off a panic that had people fighting over supplies at the grocery stores, etc. It was crazy stuff. The gov't had to text-message the public to let us all know it was a false rumour...

[ Parent ]
Graph of Case Count Over Last Week (4.33 / 3) (#34)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:08:02 PM EST

**************
***************
****************
No report 3/30
****************
******************
**********************

Top line is 3/27 and bottom is today.

Each '*' is one hundred cumulative cases world wide.

Data source is the World Health Organization.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Through 4/7 (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by Baldrson on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:42:30 PM EST

**************
***************
****************
No report 3/30
****************
******************
**********************
************************
************************
No report 4/6
**************************

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

please note who exactly the spanish flu killed (2.10 / 10) (#37)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:16:14 PM EST

Not only was the Spanish Flu strikingly virulent, but it displayed an unusual preference in its choice of victims---tending to select young healthy adults over those with weakened immune systems, as in the very young, the very old, and the infirm. The normal age distribution for flu mortality was completely reversed, and had the effect of gouging from society's infrastructure the bulk of those responsible for its day to day maintenance. No wonder people thought the social order was breaking down. It very nearly did. source

i think there is another post on the spanish flu below this comment, if you want to read more on this pandemic.

but that's right kiddies, the spanish flu preferred to kill young healthy adults. those in the prime of life, those who you would otherwise assume to be the healthiest in society. if you aren't afraid of SARS, you really should be. this is the real deal.

this is mother nature's way of keeping populations in control that predators can't. if a valley fills with a million bunnies one year, it is likely that one day one bunny will get sick for no reason and then poof: only 10,000 bunnies left. perfectly natural. perfectly normal. textbook population dynamics and epidemiology at play.

the only reason the earth has filled with 6.25 billion humans with no such virus of opportunity decimating us is because we are so very clever and scientific and have discovered and invented things like sanitation and hospitals and medical science. bunnies can't do that. but if the virus of opportunity is fast enough, it can outrun our best efforts. this could be the one.

we are long overdue for something like SARS.

again folks, if you are not afraid, you really should be. this is the real deal.

there is unwarranted alarmism, and then there is false security.

i think false security would be the bigger problem with SARS.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Scaremongering. (3.33 / 3) (#40)
by Anoymous 22666 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:54:34 PM EST

Everything you say is completely true. You're right: human beings have not suffered from normal means of population control by disease. We've been clever enough to escape that.

But you're scaremongering, plain and simple. Maybe SARS will be identified and solved and maybe it won't; but calling it "the real deal" and prophecizing the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it crap is overkill. And since most of us are powerless to stop it anyway, there is no sense in getting worked up about it.

Relaxing about it isn't a "false sense of security." It's being realistic. I can't control it either way, so why lose sleep over it? If anything, being stressed about it will increase my chances of infection.

I just farted... And I blame the fiction section. - Psycho Les


[ Parent ]
scaremongering and viral genetics (1.33 / 3) (#43)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:16:32 PM EST

as i said before, there is unwarranted alarmism, and there is a false sense of security.

that you aren't scared is fine for you. i'm glad.

the question is, what should scare you?

sarin gas? dirty bombs? how many people can those things kill?

the fact is simply that we are way overdue for something like SARS. it is a simple interplay of statistics, viral genetics, and opportunity.

in the normal average world of any animal population, the viruses that survive are the ones that balance their mortality rates with their infection rates. grow too slowly, and your host will beat you down into extinction. grow too fast, and you are way too virulent for your own good. you burn your hosts out and kill them before you even get a chance to spread.

but does 6.25 billion humans, many packed into dense urban environments, resemble a natural animal population? we are very intelligent, and we have done lots of things other animals can't. but we are still animals. we are still flesh. it is still open season on us for any parsite that can figure out how to spread amongst us.

so the normal rules for our virii of balancing their burn rate against their opportunities for infection don't necessarily apply anymore. any virus that decided to just wantonly kill will still spread because we are so packed in our large urban centers. it won't burn itself out.

do you think that is impossible? improbable, but not impossible. and over a large enough span of time, with billions of humans, it becomes probable. it is just a matter of time until some virus hits the genetic lottery. if not SARS, then something else someday. if SARS is not it, something else will evolve that will take advantage of our gigantic, vulnerable populations.

this is simple mathematical rules of chance and epidemiology and viral genetics at play.

we are way overdue for something like this.

look at the world as a parsite that doesn't care about anything except how fast it can spread. the parasite doesn't care if it survives. a virus is just a packet of genes. it evolves and mutates. its infection rates go up, its infection rates go down, it constantly evolves and mutates and changes, naturally, randomly. and every once in awhile, one simple virus hits upon a novel infection route which overwhelms our natural defenses until we compensate with our own evolutionary forces of defense.

this is an arms race as old as time, as old as parasites have existed on this planet.

you call me an alarmist. but over the span of centuries and millenia, things like this happen. it is mother natures way of cleaning up unnaturally large concentrations of single species that predators can't control. that sounds like humanity to me.

we are nothing but beasts of burden to our parasites. that one evil virus should suddenly appear and start killing wantonly is not by design, it is just mathematics and chance and genetic variability and opportunity and evolutionary forces playing themselves out.

you go ahead and not be scared. i'm proud of you. but don't think you are smarter for being less scared. you're just less scared.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

4% mortality is hardly the real deal (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by werner on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:31:39 PM EST

You should be working for the tabloids. If you used Word, it would take care of the capitalisation for you.

A trolling talent such as yours really could generate some cash in the media.

[ Parent ]

thanks (1.00 / 1) (#55)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:36:53 PM EST

i will forget about you promptly

think about me again when SARS takes out someone you know

smooches! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX
 

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I should have made clear (none / 0) (#60)
by werner on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:59:11 PM EST

that my evaluation was based on your comments to this and other articles. The odd nugget of worthwhile observation or analysis padded out with reams of inflammatory bunk.

[ Parent ]
Hint... (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by Anonymous 7324 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:19:01 PM EST

as you've noticed by now, circletimessquare can occasionally lapse into this frenzy of acting like Jeff K. Often, I suspect him of being Lowtax on acid. The best course of action, is just to ignore him, btw.

[ Parent ]
one question (1.00 / 1) (#64)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:36:32 PM EST

are you my stalker?

i'm flattered

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's not necessary to stalk you... (none / 0) (#105)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:29:15 AM EST

...to observe that you're a doomsayer.


Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]
lol (1.00 / 1) (#107)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:44:48 AM EST

i am being stalked

lol

;-)

are you the president of my fan club?

i'm really flattered

me? i am worth shit

only my words are my worth

my value here rises and falls with my words

so go ahead and characterize me, it's just so much high school type stereotyping bullshit. give up the teenage game.

what people have to get used to is that on a metablog like kuro5hin, the concept of "reputation" is worthless. just look at turmeric if you don't believe me.

the internet changes many things. in the real world your reputation might mean something. in the anonymous internet, it means squat. ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

silent grim smile (none / 0) (#114)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:47:11 PM EST

i am being stalked

Ah, delusions of grandeur I'm afraid. Another characteristic of the portent grave? ;)

me? i am worth shit

only my words are my worth

Don't be so hard on yourself. Your words may be worth shit, I agree, but as you say, you are not your words ;)

so go ahead and characterize me, it's just so much high school type stereotyping bullshit. give up the teenage game.

I can characterise that part of you which relates to your words (indeed, it's all we have to go on). Which part of the word 'doomsayer' don't you understand? The 'sayer' part, it seems.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

silent and grim only (1.00 / 2) (#115)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:06:11 PM EST

you hit reply to this, you kept at me tit for tat, point for point...

then you mysteriously abandoned that pretense when i addressed all of your concerns in my last 2 paragraphs

where is your tit for tat on my last 2 paragraphs?

what's the matter? not so smug anymore it seems... maybe silent and grim lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Eh? (4.50 / 2) (#117)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:46:30 PM EST

What on earth are you talking about? My point was, that you are a doomsayer. I can tell this, because you say things on Kuro5hin which portend doom. This is nothing to do with your 'reputation' IRL, simply a comment on what you write here. Get some perspective.

what people have to get used to is that on a metablog like kuro5hin, the concept of "reputation" is worthless. just look at turmeric if you don't believe me.

the internet changes many things. in the real world your reputation might mean something. in the anonymous internet, it means squat. ;-)

Oooh, deep.

What you have to realise (apart from that it's pointless to generalise) is that I'm not talking about the human behind your words. I'm talking about you: circletimessquare, the facet represented here on Kuro5hin.

My opinion of turmeric is that s/he is an intelligent troll. Again, I'm passing comment on turmeric here; not on the entire character of whoever writes under that particular pseduonym. I have no idea whether this fits in with part of a wider 'reputation'.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

doomsaying (1.00 / 1) (#118)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:13:51 PM EST

ok, i am a doomsayer.

let's not restart the ecstacy debate here.

but riddle me this: have i said anything about sars that you disagree with?

otherwise, who the hell cares what you call me as long as my words ring true.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#119)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:50:01 PM EST

have i said anything about sars that you disagree with?

Well there is just one thing:

"this is the real deal."

You are right to say that nature has a way of maintaining the balance. However, you haven't got a clue whether we as a species have reached critical mass yet, or whether this particular virus will have a particularly great impact on us (we don't even know whether or not it's airborne yet). Saying that "this is the real deal" (emphasis mine, for obvious reasons) is very different from saying "When a population gets too dense, various forces such as famine and disease cause the death of a proportion of that population, until an equilibrium is reached."

I know from our earlier debate on ecstasy that you feel that if even a small risk exists, it's worth being worried about, because otherwise, well, what if you're wrong? Most people call this 'paranoia'. But I don't think you're paranoid per se, otherwise you'd apply this thinking to all the risks you take (like stepping outside your house). I just think you latch onto things, and then, as I say, you foretell doom to others. This makes you a scaremongerer. I'm not the only one to have noticed this in your writing and to feel this way about it. We just think you need to calm down and get a little perspective.

Anyway, this is a great opportunity for me to make a point about our other debate, because whilst I doubt we'll still be conversing in twenty, thirty, forty years' time when I might be suffering the onset of parkinsonism, I suspect you and I will still be posting to Kuro5hin in, say, six months or a year's time, when if this particular outbreak has not been contained, I will eat my hat.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

excellent ;-) (none / 0) (#120)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:57:43 PM EST

you are 100% right.

let us make it a fair wager.

if i stand by my words, then in 6 months time, sars will be gleefully skipping around the planet, scythe in hand, harvesting hairless monkeys.

or, if i am a pseudoparanoid, scaremongering, hyper, lacking perspective doomsayer, then in 6 months time, i will be eating my hat.

we both probably will still be here by then, unlike with the ecstacy timeline of 20 years. so it's a fair wager.

let the winner remind the loser and rub the other one's face in their hat. ;-P

false security versus unwarranted alarmism. let us see what 6 month's time holds.

talk to you in early october. ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

:o) (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by synaesthesia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:15:50 PM EST

talk to you in early october. ;-)

Oh, I don't doubt that we'll be crossing pens elsewhere on Kuro5hin well before that! (In fact I have just replied to a comment of yours in the Iraqi mobile phone infrastructure article.)

And come six months' time (bear in mind, also, that I said, "or a year"!), we'll probably be arguing the toss over the definition of 'contained'.

Ah, well. See you then, anyway.

Sausages or cheese?
[ Parent ]

Heh, not even worth talking to him. (none / 0) (#116)
by Anonymous 7324 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:30:08 PM EST

Pretend he doesn't exist, because he doesn't.

[ Parent ]
pretend he doesn't exist, because he doesn't (none / 0) (#121)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:02:31 PM EST

sounds like a good philosophy in life

tell me how many other issues in life that philosophy helps with

such as sars?

lol

;-)
 

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Philosophy (none / 0) (#128)
by DerKey on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:19:08 PM EST

When you stop fearing death, even without using religion as a crutch? That's how philosophy helps you deal with SARS. I fear not death because I know there is no consequence to it.
[sig] Hurro. [/sig]
[ Parent ]
if i worried about my reputation on kuro5hin (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:33:32 PM EST

or, i should rephrase, if i worried what the average crackpot on kuro5hin thought of me, i would have shot myself a long time ago

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
really? (none / 0) (#98)
by werner on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:28:31 AM EST

i rather value my own opinion of myself.

[ Parent ]
i don't care about opinions (none / 0) (#101)
by circletimessquare on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:51:49 AM EST

i don't care about opinions, i just care about what i write. and whether i'm viewed as a genius or a crank, what i write can smell like roses or shit on any given day, and this is true for all of us. the value of a reputation on a metablog like this is worth absolutely nothing. just look at turmeric if you don't believe me. ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I'd be afraid for the human race (none / 0) (#57)
by millman on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:49:43 PM EST

if the mortality rate was 100%, with an incubation period of at least a week, and with airbourne transmission.  That the one that will kill 99.99% of us.  Not this one.
---------------------------------------------------------------------

In a world full of thieves, the only crime is getting caught.
[ Parent ]

i agree (none / 0) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:40:35 PM EST

but if the infection rate is high (airborne, casual contact)

and the mortality rate is high (even 5% is high: 1 in 20 people? ouch)

that's what? 300 million worldwide?

that's hardly going to kill the species, but like the spanish flu, it's definitely scary

and everyone alive, who survives, will probably know someone who is killed by this thing

that's scary


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I wonder if it would help our odds (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by bluehead on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:07:13 PM EST

if we pumped $75,000,000,000 into medical research right now?


Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
Possably.... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:30:11 PM EST

...But how profitable is it? What kind of inverstment returns can I expect, and over how many years? Do we get to blow shit up or fight against some evil villan?

[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 0) (#77)
by bluehead on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:43:53 PM EST

If "national security" doesn't mean ensuring that as many of us as possible get to keep on living, just what the hell does it mean?

Hard like a criminal.
[ Parent ]
Thank you for your advice. (none / 0) (#138)
by hershmire on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 05:24:57 PM EST

I shall now proceed to run to tell everyone the sky is falling. Obviously, there is nothing else I can do, since this is the real deal.

Reminds me of a little poem with some great advice:
When in danger, or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout!


"The end of the world is nigh!" -circletimessquare's sandwichboard
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
[ Parent ]
It's moments like this that you respect the CDC. (4.50 / 2) (#42)
by RofGilead on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:59:34 PM EST

I'm very thankful that in the U.S. we have the Center for Disease Control, and that world wide we have the UN's World Health Organization. If there is a large outbreak of a deadly infectious disease, the breakdown of the health system and panic of the people would likely do as much or more damage than the disease itself would.

I'm very thankful that we have scientists who are both paranoid enough to be watchful of any new disease, but also intelligent enough to quickly create adequate responses to infectious diseases of this sort. I hope that they can contain it, as the scene of Hong Kong is scary enough. (Even though few people had been infected in Hong Kong).

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon

There was some contention (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by imrdkl on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:16:29 PM EST

For discovery rights, it seems, although most traces are now gone. After the CDC announced their discovery, a Hong Kong team jumped up and developed the test for the virus (they have the most tissue to study). They also said it should be called "Coronavirus Pneumonia". The Canadians were all over that, and immedietly credited the HK researchers with the discovery and the test, and didn't mention the CDC at all. :)

[ Parent ]
The CDC does alot. (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by Work on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:58:30 PM EST

Everytime theres an ebola outbreak in africa, usually the CDC is on it and identifing the fact it is ebola.

They're largely uncredited, but immensely essential to tracking down diseases today.

[ Parent ]

And why do I get the feeling... (none / 0) (#100)
by schlouse on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:19:16 AM EST

that they don't really care who gets credit. I mean, you don't start working for the CDC or the WHO for fame and glory (well, at least as far as most of the world is concerned...). I'd be willing to wager that they value working relationships more than petty credit.

Mark S.

[ Parent ]

indeed. (none / 0) (#108)
by Work on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:35:33 AM EST

But the point is to point out how important the CDC is to the world. The WHO is largely an advisory panel that informs the world of epidemics, but the CDC does the lab and grunt work in actually identifying the nature of it.

[ Parent ]
This is not fair (none / 0) (#110)
by jbuck on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:03:24 PM EST

It is the WHO, not the CDC, that drove the effort to rid the world of smallpox in the wild. It's not just a shell organization, and they do a lot more than informing and advising. The CDC is very good, but so are the public health institutions of many other countries.

[ Parent ]

Slightly misleading (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by lazyll on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:38:29 PM EST

it doesn't just kill the weak and infirm like influenza. SARS can kill an otherwise-healthy patient in a matter of days

That may be true, but it's not as bad as that makes it seem. It's no where near as bad as the Spanish flu, which some other comments are comparing it to. From the BBC:

The WHO estimates Sars will prove fatal in around 4% of cases, usually where the person has an underlying condition such as diabetes or a weakened immune system. But it said that in 90% of cases, people seem to recover around a week after being infected. [source]



Top Single-Variable Correlations (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:43:01 PM EST

I've added SARS cumulative cases to the by-State correlator.

I'll be updating the data for that demographic variable as CDC gets better reporting. As of this moment there are only 27 states reporting any cases and the number of cases is close to 0 for many of them. However even now it is obvious that some meaningful structure is showing up.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Hey! (none / 0) (#67)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:10:02 PM EST

Looks like this one is caused by Negroes, overpaid foreigners, and adulterers.

Or else, since the Jews are rather low on the list, it was concocted by the International Jewish Conspiracy to target those groups.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Please (none / 0) (#69)
by imrdkl on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:21:29 PM EST

Lets keep this civil. I knew he was going to post that ridiculous klan site in a link sooner or later, so just let it go. It's still legal to do that in our great country, and he's making some reasonable contributions as well. Maybe he'll even give the diary rants a rest for awhile, eh Baldrson?

[ Parent ]
Not very civil (none / 0) (#81)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:16:02 PM EST

Lets keep this civil. I knew he was going to post that ridiculous klan site

There's nothing ridiculous about the site except in the minds of those ridiculous enough to believe insinuating it is a KKK site is "civil".

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Statistics don't lie! (n/t) (none / 0) (#70)
by AmberEyes on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:21:50 PM EST

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Low H-1B Salaries, not Blacks (none / 0) (#80)
by Baldrson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:12:02 PM EST

You may be correct that "foreigners" have a lot to do with SARS but blacks are actually negatively correlated with SARS.

>The strongest predictor of the present US distribution of SARS, in fact, is H-1B visa workers being paid low wages.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


[ Parent ]

Feature request (none / 0) (#123)
by AmberEyes on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:15:28 PM EST

Could you please add "NumberOfPeopleWhoEatAtMcDonaldsPerCapita" to your list, please?

Thanks.

-AmberEyes


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Some scary stuff. (3.66 / 9) (#58)
by /dev/trash on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:55:27 PM EST

I just read that it infected 5 people in Philadelphia.

---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
why is this rated a 1? (none / 0) (#72)
by /dev/trash on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:17:27 PM EST

here is the link:

http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/cgi-free/getstory_ssf.cgi? d1930_BC_PA--MysteryIllness-Pa&&news&newsflash-pennsylvania

If that doesn't work ( it took 3 tries for me to get it loaded) try: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&q=SARS+philadelphia&btnG=Search+News


---
Updated 02/20/2004
New Site
[ Parent ]

I guess no one cares about Philadelphia [n/t] (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Eater on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:38:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Why the 1 this time? (3.00 / 2) (#126)
by Eater on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 06:47:18 PM EST

You can hardly rate a comment on its contents if there is barely any contents there... or do you simply not agree with my analysis and think that people on K5 do indeed care a great deal about Philadelphia? Or do you find the news that no one cares about Philadelphia to be damaging to your Philadelphia-loving ego? Either way, you must be a Nazi for having rated my comment a 1, you damn CommuniCapitalist.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Re: 1 rating (none / 0) (#90)
by Torka on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:15:55 AM EST

I'm also baffled as to the reason behind the 1 rating, but if you check out Tezcatlipoca's rating history, you get the distinct impression that it tends to give out zeroes to comments it disagrees with. Perhaps you should consider yourself fortunate.

[ Parent ]
Because it didn't cite any source. (none / 0) (#109)
by cestmoi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:21:18 PM EST

Sans source, the comment is pure rumor.

[ Parent ]
Epidemiological Computer Models? (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by redelm on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:58:42 PM EST

This sort of thing has to be easy to model by computer.

You just need a limited number of transmission parameters (communication window) and some ideas about human contacts & migratory patterns. This has to have already been done. Any references?

If SARS is communicable before the onset of identifiable symptoms, it will be very hard to contain. With high modern mobility, a pandemic is likely.



i think this is the problem (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by Work on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:56:19 PM EST

they're not really sure how its transmitted. I've heard airborne.

[ Parent ]
incubation (none / 0) (#96)
by chu on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 06:44:30 AM EST

If SARS is communicable before the onset of identifiable symptoms

I thought most diseases were mainly infectious during the incubation period.

[ Parent ]

From the trenches. (4.66 / 3) (#62)
by Arkayne on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:23:10 PM EST

I live in Toronto, and the media here has been in a near-panic mode for days. Front page of the Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star plus the lead story on CityPulse, CBC and CTV have been about SARS, even over-riding news from Iraq.

There are now 129 SARS cases in Ontario, 60 probable, 69 suspected. 2500 people have voluntarily isolated themselves. Two hospitals have now been closed.

Personally I don't feel too concerned, although I *did* look up the symptoms for SARS when I first got the cold I'm currently suffering from. (I work in a bar and take public transit 10+ times a week.)

I don't really see it (none / 0) (#149)
by yst on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 06:50:58 PM EST

I live in Toronto, and I just don't see the panic. I work in Toronto, live in Toronto and attend the University of Toronto and it hasn't even come up in conversation among friends at the University of Toronto, colleagues and family here in the last few days. I think you're being very misleading about media coverage. SARS generally hasn't even made a headline in the Globe, Star and Sun in the last week due to Iraq coverage. The Sun had a big panicky cover once, but it's a tabloid after all. And usually they're doing Iraq covers now.

I live in Toronto, and the media here has been in a near-panic mode for days

That's just utter crap.

[ Parent ]

Just my f**king luck. (none / 0) (#71)
by Pyrion on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:13:37 PM EST

My health insurance had to run out yesterday.
--
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
The Urban Virus (4.33 / 3) (#73)
by Work on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:23:44 PM EST

Given that the doctor's name that discovered it is "Urbani" and most cases seem to occur in urban areas, sounds like the Urban virus is a choice name.

Jacko spread it. (1.00 / 1) (#75)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:15:27 PM EST

Personaly, I think it's all just a conpiracy to make Micheal Jackson feel better about himself.

From the trenches in Hong Kong (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by cce on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:41:45 PM EST

There's a site called SoSick.org that lists reported cases in Hong Kong with their sources.

In the last two days we have seen people moved to quaratine camps, with food, medical services etc brought to them by the government. It's a bit like "Outbreak" and pretty scary.

On April 1, a teenager's hoax website sparked a wave of panic buying at the stores here when he sent out a false alert that Hong Kong was being declared a quarantine port. Later the government text-messaged everyone's mobile phone to let us know the rumour wasn't true.

Many people have been sent home from work until things blow over. My girlfriend's job sent her home -- someone at the office had exposure to SARS and they are disinfecting the office. My classes at university have been cancelled because a few cases were reported there.

Lots more SARS Hong Kong stuff in my HK blog and K5 diary. Scary scary ...

common systems that link flats together (none / 0) (#85)
by cce on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:46:53 PM EST

I hear they are looking at the water, as many old buildings such as Amoy Gardens have problems with waste water leaking into the fresh water. This would be a pretty disgusting way of contracting the disease.

They're also trapping rats, so who knows...

Security Implications-Suicide Vectors (2.00 / 1) (#86)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:54:08 PM EST

Even if this disease is completely naturally generated phenomena, it adds a rather strange twist to the War in Iraq. The Iraqi government and various Islamic terrorist organizations have quite a few people willing to risk death for their cause. It would seem to be fairly easy to get a couple hundred "suicide vectors" that would purposely get and spread SARS to appropriate political centers, military basis, financial centers-if someone worked hard at it they might have considerably more impact than the average suicide bomber--and considerably harder to pin on the attackers.

Sucide vectors (4.50 / 2) (#91)
by Symmetry on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:46:15 AM EST

I'd be suprised if they weren't thinking of this, but I think it would be hard to do for two reasons. First, by the time they will have been able to set up anything, the outbreak will be over or spread so far that one more vetor makes no difference. Secondly, my read of the suicide bomber personality is that they would mych rather go out in a blaze of explosive glory than die anonymously in some hospital; the world never knowing of their "accomplishment." Between these two factors, I 'm not as worried about this as I could be.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
Suicide Vectors could be operating right now (none / 0) (#113)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:42:14 PM EST

Even if the Islamic Terrorists had now advanced warning of this disease, there has been enough information out there the last few days to engineer an epidemic. This might not make much difference in how far the disease spreads-but it could take out strategic targets early on.

Keep in mind, there is an incubation period during which folks can pass on the disease but have no visible symptoms--and a period from the time the first visible symptoms start and these folks get really sick. That means that suicide bombers can do double duty spreading SARS until right before their bombing missions.

If Islamics did have advanced knowledge of this disease(say they spotted it in POW camps a few years ago), it is also plausible that the outbreak in China was calculated to shut down trade between the US and China and create a smokescreen for whatever attacks take place in the US. It will be impossible for the US to really investigate what is happening in China. If this epidemic peters out after a few more weeks and hits US military personnel and Jewish population centers especially hard, I will tend to suspect an engineered epidemic-even if there is every evidence the disease itself is naturally occuring.

[ Parent ]

Where it appeared (none / 0) (#150)
by Symmetry on Thu Apr 10, 2003 at 11:56:41 AM EST

If someone wanted to attack the US, they would have done so directly, instead of going after China and Canada first.
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
Not necessarily (none / 0) (#152)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Apr 21, 2003 at 03:21:30 PM EST

If this is an engineered attack, it is plausible that one of the major motives is to get the US and China at each other's throat. At this point, the press has been so load saying the disease is naturally occuring, it won't matter much if in 6-8 months, other scientists confirm the claims of the Russian scientists that SARS is a bio-weapon.

Why would Islamic interests want the US/China relationship soured? Well, if you are fighting a country, getting them embroiled elsewhere is a good thing. Also, because this disease is happening first in China, it is likely that if it spreads rapidly to the US, China will somehow get the blame(instead of US public health authorities who IMHO are more to blame).



[ Parent ]

A significant drawback (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by cestmoi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:30:41 AM EST

A very good reason for them not to try this stunt is there's no way to control who gets sick. It's one thing to kill infidels, quite another to kill tithing Moslems.

[ Parent ]
Why news sources like to induce panic (none / 0) (#93)
by tang gnat on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:06:55 AM EST

  1. If everything is running along fine, people don't feel the urge to keep up with recent events.
  2. If the scare by some fluke happens to be a real threat, the news org can brag about how it covered the breaking news.
  3. If the scare is (inevitably) a false alarm, almost everybody forgets. Almost. Those who remember are the zealot activists of today, always striving to waste everyone's time with their issues.
I invite you all to visit Skepticism.net's Health Scare list, if the site's not down.

Well (none / 0) (#94)
by melia on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:42:09 AM EST

I read the skepticism.net thing, the difference is that most of these articles contain "...despite there being no evidence..." or something similar. In this case, quite a few people have already died. So, it's not the same sort of thing at all


Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
Wecome to the U.S. Please Take off your Mask. (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by opendna on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 06:31:22 AM EST

Damnit people, I leave you in charge and look what happens while I'm away!

I went on vacation to a remote tropical isle to swim with sea turtles and on my way home I picked up a newspaper for the flight. Murphy rears his ugly head: The front page has a picture of a quarantined flight including a couple of my co-workers. Something called SARS. Whatever. It's not airborne HIV or Ebola. My first day back at work and everyone is getting off the trans-pacific flights with face-masks. So now I'm asking the passengers to remove their surgical disguises so I can compare them to the passport photos. Many are actually begrudging me the request! (dorks)

Anyway, there's a booth filled with alcohol wipes, rubber gloves and face masks provided for our protection. The use of such measures is verbotten because the Folks Upstairs are concerned it might scare the passengers. What does this mean? Do you get the feeling they're conflicted between our health and politics?

Anyways, many Inspectors - taking the hint from abundant the medical supplies - are starting to bringing portable fans to aim at passengers. It's not a biohaz suit, but it keeps them from breathing on us. Pitty the dumb bastard who sneezes on an Inspector these days.

I figure I'm the "Canary in the Coal Mine" for the CDC. This wasn't in the job description.



Visiting Toronto soon (none / 0) (#97)
by kanon on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:16:36 AM EST

I'll be travelling to Toronto soon. Does anyone know if there's anything I should know (Apart from my imminent death :) ). I didn't see any warnings on the WHO site but it's not exactly easy to navigate.

Should I bring my own burial shovel or we talking low risk at the moment?

Irish advice (none / 0) (#99)
by chu on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:16:31 AM EST

I read that the Irish government were advising against non-essential travel to Canada.

[ Parent ]
I am in Toronto (none / 0) (#102)
by fdown on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:03:24 AM EST

The situation here is OK. Hospitals are taking precautions such as no visitors unless you are dying. The number of cases is quite small and all contacts are being quaranteened. You see the ocasional person with a mask. A couple of schools are closed, Blue Jays games are still on. If you want more information I suggest the CBC's website. www.cbc.ca

[ Parent ]
Chance of infection is near zero (none / 0) (#103)
by Gord ca on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:10:32 AM EST

Unless you plan to visit hospitals, in which case you should be slightly worried, but only slightly.
I'm from the area. I'm going into the city tommorrow, and it is decidedly unlikely that I will wet my pants while there. I've seen a total of zero people in surgical masks so far.

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]
Science Fair Writ Large (5.00 / 2) (#111)
by cestmoi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:06:45 PM EST

Aside from the referenced FAQ, the CDC has an excellent site that covers almost all aspects of SARS. Some of the more interesting parts of their SARS site are the transcripts of their almost daily briefings shown on the right side of their SARS web page. Their March 15th Press Conference reads like a bad Michael Creighton novel except it's the real thing.

At that point, the only thing that was clear was that there was an infectious disease spreading throughout the world. Nobody knew what it was, how it was transmitted or anything else except it mimicked a bad cold. Read through the transcripts and you see the scientific process unfold. Various ideas are floated and later on, are either confirmed or discarded. The CDC describes their thinking as to why they're leaning towards the coronavirus vs the paramoxyvirus and yet they hedge by saying perhaps there are data they don't yet have which would alter their conclusions. Read April 2nd's transcript , just two weeks later, and the CDC is a bit more confident that they've isolated the causative virus. Yet they intentionally raise further questions about their hypothesis that suggest there may be more to it than what they're seeing.

Similarly, the thinking on vectors evolves with more data. Initially, they were saying they thought close, face to face contact was needed. Then the Metropole Hotel cases came in and thinking changed. About the time they're talking about the Metropole, the NY Times reporter is asking about the Amoy Gardens outbreak which the CDC acknowledges but says they just don't know. Both the Metropole and Amoy Gardens data suggest the CDC's early thinking was wrong.

The fundamentalist Christians point at how scientific "truth" changes so much as a flaw. To me, this outbreak is evidence of how the mental flexibility exhibited by these first class scientists - examining ideas, attacking them to see if they hold up, and suggesting further ways of looking at them - helps the search for truth.

It's a form of creative thinking that not only is as impressive as a brilliant sports play, it's vital.

I too felt proud of the CDC (none / 0) (#140)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 07:00:00 PM EST

As I researched this story, as I pointed out elsewhere, it became pretty clear that the feverish work which was carried out during the first two weeks was definitely a shared effort, but that when it became clear the the CDC had "got it right", there were some sour grapes. I chose not to emphasize that part of the story too much, but it was definitely a race which the CDC won fair and square.

Your Christian-bash, otoh, is somewhat misguided. Most of us currently feel that the time for debate is pretty much winding down.

[ Parent ]

Singaporean SARS Perspective (5.00 / 1) (#112)
by paperd on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:23:51 PM EST

The media here in Singapore has been giving updates on SARS constantly; in fact, it is almost the only thing on the news, with the exception of the Iraq War also taking up some air time.

My country is in a state of heightened alert, with health care personnel checking all people who enter and leave the country by air/rail/road or water. It is unfortunately, highly contagious - 91 of our cases can be traced to one of the first few index cases (who came back from Hong Kong on a holiday) that subsequently set off more waves of infectors. Most of the infected here are health care personnel and family members/visitors who have had close contact with the infected. Latest death toll is 5 I think.

People are extremely cautious, but I don't think people are panicking. Part of the reason is because the government (especially the Ministry of Health) is extremely transparent on this issue; updates are given by the media as often as they get it. Channel Newsasia is a good source on the Singaporean SARS outbreak, and the Singapore MOH FAQ is useful.

Other measures include relocating all SARS patients to one central hospital, and closing down all schools for 1 week (except tertiary institutions) to break the chain of infection. I agree with this avenue of action because children might not be as savvy as adults in seeking medical help if they come down sick; if they delay they might infect others. Also, we have invoked a quarantine law which enforces people who have had close contact with SARS patients to stay at home for 10 days.

In Singapore, our course of action to break the chain of transmission heavily relies on the public's self-policing and transparent information. If you suspect you are at high risk and have symptoms, do see a doctor immediately - that will help to break the chain of infection (SARS is hypothesized to be infectious only when you start showing symptoms and has an incubation period of 3-10 days):
  1. High fever of more than 38 degrees celsius
  2. Dry cough, chills and shivering, muscle aches, breathing difficulties
  3. Any contact with any SARS patient
  4. Have travelled to any high risk areas: e.g. China, Hong kong, Hannoi, Singapore, Toronto, etc.
It seems that the measures are effective, because the number of SARS cases daily seem to be dropping. Provided we recieve no more new index cases abroad, we should be able to contain it here. Hannoi has also seemed to have been able to contain the outbreak as no new cases have appeared the last few days. Others have not fared as well and the cases are still on the rise/unstable (Hong Kong, Guangzhou)

It remains to be seen whether SARS will become a dangerous new world pandemic; if contained well, it shouldn't be. Sigh - the Iraq War, and now this. Many economies in Asia have been badly hit by both the war and SARS. I just hope both will end soon.

Are people getting better? (4.00 / 1) (#129)
by signal15 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:56:57 PM EST

It's not clear if people who get SARS have gotten rid of it at all. Some of the news stories say people are recovering, but most of the stuff I read implies that nobody has completely purged the virus from their system. Does anyone know if it eventually goes away completely in some people?

80-90% recovery rate (none / 0) (#130)
by cce on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 06:22:30 AM EST

With early detection, they're saying here in HK that treatment is 90% successful. Today the newspaper said 98 SARS patients were discharged in Hong Kong, if that's any indication ...

[ Parent ]
Basel, we have a Problem (none / 0) (#131)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 09:14:58 AM EST

Right now is the worlds most important fair for watches and jewelery in Basel and Zurich; the Baselworld

Unfortunately HongKong is the second largest exhibitor (after Switzerland) and one day before the fair opened the health authorities decided, that the fair may not employ people (which where in the country already) from risk areas. That covers about 3000 asian employees.

The exhibitors from Hong Kong are - mildly put - not amused and left the fair collectively (looks pretty sad in the press fotos).

I'm a tad mixed on the issue:

On one hand, those folks are in the country and are free to travel. So what sense does it make not to let them work their booth (finally they actually where allowed, but under restrictions, which made it logistically unfeasible). Also, it's probably not good to single out a whole continent and it might lead to panic in less enlightened people, who have to travel a train with a Japanese gentleman (Japanese, btw: are not included in this measure, but that doesn't make a difference for a lot of people).

On the other hand I do undertsand that such a fair with so many employees from high risk areas poses threats to the public and it's clearly the authorities responsibility to protect the public. Very little factual information is known about the disease and how it's transmitted. Alas I can understand, that the exhibitors are really, really pissed and I also think they need to be compensated. Even if this comes out of tax money and the timing couldn't be much worse.

New theory on Amoy Gardens, HK SARS outbreak (none / 0) (#134)
by cce on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:32:08 PM EST

It's in my diary: SARS-contaminated feces blowing over from the construction site next door. Seriously, it's very gross and was in the HK papers today.

Treatment? (none / 0) (#137)
by cestmoi on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 04:20:25 PM EST

You mention in your blog that you're not worried about SARS because there's a treatment for it. What treatment have you heard of?

[ Parent ]
What crap. (1.50 / 2) (#135)
by Fantastic Lad on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 03:11:23 PM EST

SARS is bullshit.

It's not time to kill people off yet over here. The big cities WILL be the killing zones, but not in the first world. Not yet.

The only reason SARS (Stupidly Assenine Reporting Syndrome) has showed up here, I suspect, is that Canada pissed on the U.S. war parade. So much for our cousins to the south.

It's too soon. This is just more psychological warfare to gently ease people into the coming military lock-down. I actually know people who are complaining that we do not have enough quarantine measures! (They would be happy to live in one of those sterile T.E.U.s described in the latest K5 story!)

SARS is the common cold with a twist. Otherwise healthy people dying? Bullshit. 'Otherwise Healthy' is a bogus phrase. Nobody in this town is healthy. The 'Young and Healthy' are burned out on too much work, crappy food, too much sex/masturbation, crappy air quality, too little exercise and the persistant and almost ubiquitous condition of Not Being On The Correct Life Path. --All of this stuff sucks off a LOT energy, and that's what kills. SARS is just a bad flu which is being spun by the media in order to create fear and acceptence of further civil rights violations. The turning of the Big Screw.

Mind you, SARS aside, if you can avoid it, don't come to Toronto. This place, as with most major cities, exists I am certain, on one of the nine rings of hell.

Cheers!

-Fantastic Lad

HMMM (none / 0) (#139)
by phlux on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 06:24:15 PM EST

You know FL - I think its time that you put up or shut up. I have been interested in your comments - and have written you about them, but I am tired of your off handed side-ways allusions without any followup or explaination - and would prefer that you get some links together - and write some thiouts down and lets us check em out.

While I agree with the underlying sentiment that you carry and your awareness of the corruption that is abound and how people are nothing but manipulated - I think a page, post, story or whatever would be timely in coming - so we can really understand where you are coming from.

And no long winded running around the question.

So - lets start with the major thing taking place right now - the conquering of Iraq. Why dont you, please, put down here what you think is going on... you have been increasingly dormant since january...

and read this:  http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/3/6/1268/07046/174#174 post of mine since you are so interested in the emotional feeding and manipulation of people.

[ Parent ]

Settle down there, buddy. (none / 0) (#142)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 12:15:11 AM EST

I responded directly to your inquiry some time ago, (to phlux@neuralmatrix.net) but heard nothing back. Figured you weren't serious or careful enough. Now I also figure you're rude and impatient.

If you want to check things out, go do it. I've dropped more than enough nuggets to give anybody who is serious about looking plenty of direction. But you do have to be willing to dig.

Still, the internet being what it is. . .

If you have a specific question, I'll do my best to answer it. "War in Iraq" is a touch on the broad side.

-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

ah. (none / 0) (#143)
by phlux on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 02:48:35 AM EST

phlux@neuralmatrix.net is inactive - and i have forgotten to update the K5 profile...

although I was being jokingly upset with you in that last post - although to a certain extent was frustrated by you lack of activity over the past months....

anyway...

if there is one thing that I have seen to get you to actually respond - its a direct "attack" or some other riling type of message ;)

as far as the "war on iraq" thing is concerned - you are correct - it is quite broad.

hey - I just took a look and that account is back and running... anyway - like I said i was being facetiously flippant with you... anyway - Ill ping you via the e-addy you left.


[ Parent ]

Bush OK's Quarantine Authority (none / 0) (#141)
by imrdkl on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 07:13:37 PM EST

Coverage from the Washington Post. A few other developments covered in the article include a possible vaccine, as well as an apology from China for holding out.

The Agonist has also recently put together a good page with the help of a doctor, apparantly.

I live in Toronto and so far I am still alive (none / 0) (#144)
by endersgame20052005 on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 05:43:53 PM EST

I really do think that the media is causing panic to spread faster than the actual contagion. I also feel that given the populations of the cities where there have been infections and deaths , if we had a true pandemic on our hands , we should be seeing thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths. Of course all precautions i believe are in place so this does not in fact become tommorows headlines. It could be worse in my book remember Ebola ? Stephen King's The Stand comes to mind

Infectious diseases. Science. Political. (none / 0) (#146)
by dsaklad on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 12:56:55 PM EST

China politicized Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS
the same way Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome AIDS
got politicized letting the course of the epidemics
be determined by the political elements of society instead of by science.

China Hid Report and Delayed Action on SARS

Although Chinese health officials had received reports of the mystery
illness in November 2002, they did not announce it.

Authorities did not release until yesterday a top-secret document from
the health department that detailed the outbreak of a new
pneumonia-like illness that was spreading in several Chinese
provinces.

It appears the government was concerned about the negative effect the
news would have on tourism and on celebration of the Chinese New Year
holidays.

http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/health/040403a.html

the possibility that some other virus, including chlamydia, also
played a role could not be ruled out.
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbur/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ ID=478587

Weblog
The Strategy. Get tested together before you have sex.
http://NotB4WeKnow.blog-city.com

SARS Identified, but New Warning Issued | 152 comments (133 topical, 19 editorial, 0 hidden)
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