Sunday, March 30, 2003

SARS: more infectious than first thought?

The New York Times reports today on a Hong Kong apartment block where one sufferer managed to infect 78 others, suggesting that the disease is considerably more infectious than first thought. '"The potential for infecting large numbers of people is very great", said the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] director, Dr. Julie L. Gerberding. "We may be in the very early stages of a much larger epidemic of a disease for which there is no specific treatment beyond standard supportive nursing and respiratory care"', Dr. Gerberding added. There was also the tragedy that the doctor who first identified the illness in Hanoi had now died from it.

However, I still think there is plenty of reason to believe that this is not such a big problem. Since health workers are now practicing barrier nursing on infected patients, there have been no further cases among hospital staff.

There have now been 1,550 cases with 54 deaths, according to the WHO.

U.S. Warning on Respiratory Disease, New York Times, 30 March 2003

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