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Fear spreads in China over mystery lung virus
The Times ^ | February 12, 2003 | Oliver August

Posted on 02/11/2003 3:40:14 PM PST by MadIvan


A girl wearing a surgical mask at a railway station in southern China, where panic has spread over an unidentified virus
CHEMISTS and stores have been swamped by people in parts of southern China fearing a mystery lung virus. Some people were wearing surgical mask in the streets, despite doctors insisting that rumours were unnecessarily fanning public fears.

About 300 people were in hospital with pneumonia caused by the virus, one-third of them doctors, nurses and other health workers, an official of the provincial Disease Prevention and Control Centre said.

But doctors said that so far only five people had died and not the hundreds suggested by residents in Guangdong Province near Hong Kong.

“The disease is under control. It’s not as serious as the rumours said. The priority now is to figure out what caused it,” a doctor at the No 1 Hospital of the Guangzhou Medical School said. “We did not realise it was a serious epidemic, so we did not take it seriously at the beginning.”

Shoppers cleared stores of antibiotics and queued to pay inflated prices for vinegar, which many Chinese use as a disinfectant.

The panic also affected regional stock exchanges, with shares of drug companies rising, outdone only by a few vinegar-makers.

The identity of what is believed to be a virus linked to pneumonia is still not known. Leading Communist Party officials in Guangdong Province yesterday ordered an emergency team of experts to start a belated fight against the illness, which was first detected two months ago.

Governments in Hong Kong and Macau have also pleaded with residents not to panic, a likely response as the region has repeatedly been struck by deadly viruses in recent years.

Southern China is a significant source of new strains of influenza and other viruses that are often traced to the poultry industry. Bird flu in Hong Kong in 1997 killed six people and prompted the slaughter of all of its 1.4 million chickens.

Chemists and traditional Chinese herbal medicine stores reported dwindling stocks in Hong Kong as the rumours from Guangdong quickly spread. But Yeoh Engkiong, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Health and Welfare, said that there was no evidence that it was affecting the city. Neither pneumonia nor influenza cases had increased, he said. Nonetheless, television showed residents queuing for vinegar.

The Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Corporation said that it had sent hundreds of boxes of anti-flu medication to pharmacies and hospitals since Saturday and was working around the clock to meet demand.

Anti-inflammatory medicines were also selling briskly. “They’re almost completely out of stock,” the Xinhua state news agency said. The agency discounted reports that the virus was related to anthrax.


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: china; contagion; firstsarsthread; flu; hongkong; pneumonia; sanfrancisco; sars; virus
Vaguely reminds me of "Captain Trips" from Stephen King's "The Stand".

Regards, Ivan

1 posted on 02/11/2003 3:40:14 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Blue Scourge; PhiKapMom; carl in alaska; Cautor; GOP_Lady; prairiebreeze; veronica; SunnyUsa; ...
Bump!
2 posted on 02/11/2003 3:40:33 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Hi, Ivan. There was a thread earlier today about a fellow in the US who caught a strange kind of pneumonia from bacteria in his hot tub. Hmmm.
3 posted on 02/11/2003 3:42:37 PM PST by Bahbah (Pray for our Troops)
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To: MadIvan
5 out 300 is still pretty bad.
4 posted on 02/11/2003 3:44:56 PM PST by Blackyce (When did we start liking Canada??? Chretien is worse than Schroder, he just keeps his mouth shut.)
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To: MadIvan
The Stand could happen. Are they telling Brits' to get duct tape and plastic yet?
5 posted on 02/11/2003 3:46:28 PM PST by bulldogs
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To: MadIvan
'Vaguely reminds me of "Captain Trips" from Stephen King's "The Stand".'
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yes-- reminds me of That too.

[The poor little girl in the photo might as well take that mask off if she is not going to wear it over her nose.]
6 posted on 02/11/2003 3:46:55 PM PST by Route66 (America's Mainstreet)
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To: MadIvan
Your Lung Gone virus?
7 posted on 02/11/2003 3:48:06 PM PST by dogbrain
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To: MadIvan
I won't stand next to anyone coughing in the check out line.
The Stand really brought it home.
8 posted on 02/11/2003 3:48:55 PM PST by tet68 (Jeremiah 51:24 ..."..Before your eyes I will repay Babylon for all the wrong they have done in Zion")
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To: dogbrain
Chinese English language newspaper headline: RUNG VILUS LUNS LAMPANT.
9 posted on 02/11/2003 3:57:20 PM PST by AdA$tra
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To: AdA$tra
You velly Bad!
10 posted on 02/11/2003 4:08:55 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (LIBERATE IRAQ, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!)
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To: AdA$tra
You velly Bad!
11 posted on 02/11/2003 4:09:07 PM PST by SwinneySwitch (LIBERATE IRAQ, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!)
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To: MadIvan
interesting .... and knowing international travel .... how long until it gets to the US ?
12 posted on 02/11/2003 4:13:51 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Chance favors the prepared mind.)
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To: MadIvan
...only five people had died and not the hundreds suggested... The disease is under control...We did not realise it was a serious epidemic...

Which is it? "Under control" or "serious epidemic"?

It's just a little .. cough ... aaggaggaggejejgeaseigalglalajljasrrrrsrasralraach!!!!

It's a white guy in a white van.

13 posted on 02/11/2003 4:19:54 PM PST by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: Centurion2000
Since they discovered it 2 months ago and did basically nothing, it is already here. It will turn up soon.
14 posted on 02/11/2003 4:20:06 PM PST by calljack
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To: Centurion2000
Norwalk virus?
15 posted on 02/11/2003 4:26:50 PM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: AdA$tra
Ah Tink Yu Fa Ni!
16 posted on 02/11/2003 4:42:50 PM PST by 4Freedom (America is no longer the 'Land of Opportunity', it's the 'Land of Illegal Alien Opportunists'!!!)
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To: vikingchick
Ping!

sw

17 posted on 02/11/2003 4:48:19 PM PST by spectre (spectre's wife)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: HarryDunne
ping
19 posted on 02/11/2003 5:20:14 PM PST by Democratic_Machiavelli (The most important part of a post is the sauce...I mean, source.)
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To: spectre
OMG. Maybe that's what he had.
20 posted on 02/11/2003 5:30:34 PM PST by vikingchick
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To: MadIvan
“The disease is under control. It’s not as serious as the rumours said. The priority now is to figure out what caused it,”

Living with pigs may something to do with it. I’m not being derogatory here folks. I heard that most influenza is the result of people living with pigs in China. What a country!

Mystery Lung Virus. – Coming to a country near you.


21 posted on 02/11/2003 5:37:40 PM PST by Barnacle (Navigating the treacherous waters of a liberal culture)
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To: MadIvan
"Southern China is a significant source of new strains of influenza and other viruses that are often traced to the poultry industry."

True. Virtually every flu outbreak in the West comes from southern China, because of their sloppy hygiene - pig and poultry farms' feces mixing with the local drinking water. Add in the warm, humid local climate, and you have a perfect bug-breeding ground.

And you can safely assume just about every flight from Hong Kong is basically a direct courier bringing all these diseases to our countries.
22 posted on 02/11/2003 5:42:40 PM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: vikingchick; calljack
Yep.

sw

23 posted on 02/11/2003 5:45:36 PM PST by spectre (spectre's wife)
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To: MadIvan
I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese gov't was lying, and the rumors were true. But I wouldn't be shocked if the rumors were exaggerated, either.
24 posted on 02/11/2003 5:46:39 PM PST by xm177e2 (smile) :-)
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To: MadIvan
From the article: Shoppers cleared stores of antibiotics...

Now we know where all these antibiotic-resistant strains are coming from.

25 posted on 02/11/2003 5:55:10 PM PST by valkyrieanne
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To: MadIvan
I really wish that the Chinese government would dedicate itself to providing basic sanitation to ALL of the people of China, and not just the coastal regions and the largest cities. If they can afford to build a nuclear deterrant and pay for a manned space program, then by golly they can afford to put flush toilets and sewers or septic tanks in every home in China.

Their current sanitary practices are enough to make a westerner gag just thinking about it, let alone having to experience it. And of course, the human/pig/duck cycle currently enabled by their lack of sanitary practices in the rural regions is what makes those nifty new flus available to the world every year. Ever wonder why they don't have the "Cleveland flu"?
26 posted on 02/11/2003 6:02:12 PM PST by Billy_bob_bob ("He who will not reason is a bigot;He who cannot is a fool;He who dares not is a slave." W. Drummond)
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To: valkyrieanne
Yikes! Excellent point!
27 posted on 02/11/2003 6:02:43 PM PST by Billy_bob_bob ("He who will not reason is a bigot;He who cannot is a fool;He who dares not is a slave." W. Drummond)
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To: xm177e2
No, in fact the story is true. I spoke with my fiance yesterday as I do everyday and she told me that in the past 2 days there had been 12 people die of this "mysterious virus", two of them being doctors. Today she said that there were estimated to be around 70 some doctors infected by this virus, more have already died.

By the way, she lives in Guangzhou, where the virus was believed to have broken out.

Early reports stated that they believed it was a bacterial virus that plagued HK back in 1997, which is said to have come from certain types of poultry. ( Avian Influenza) However, later that theory was dismissed.

When she went out ot buy vinegar (which they boil in their homes to sterilzie the air) she paid only 5RMB but later people were paying as much as 20 or more. (normal price is about 1.4 RMB) I guess there are no shortage of capitalists there....

28 posted on 02/11/2003 6:07:51 PM PST by Enemy Of The State
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To: MadIvan
Shoppers cleared stores of antibiotics

China is more free in some way than the US or UK.

We can't buy Antibiotics over the counter.

29 posted on 02/11/2003 7:15:44 PM PST by DAnconia55 (The government knows best. You may not eat what it disapproves of.)
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To: Billy_bob_bob
My son-in-law's job puts him in the position that he has first-hand knowledge of sanitation practices of Asian restaurants. He said if people knew what went on in those kitchens, they'd NEVER eat in one.

With that in mind, I can see how we could very well have an epidemic of our own - from that one source alone.
30 posted on 02/11/2003 11:47:26 PM PST by JudyB1938
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To: MadIvan
Minor update:

Of the total number affected by the disease 59 have recovered and left hospital.

http://www.brunei-online.com/bb/wed/feb12w30.htm
31 posted on 02/12/2003 6:14:23 AM PST by SkyRat (If privacy wasn't of value, we wouldn't have doors on bathrooms.)
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To: Bahbah
a fellow in the US who caught a strange kind of pneumonia from bacteria in his hot tub

He probably needs to hang out with a better class of women.

;-)

32 posted on 02/12/2003 6:16:42 AM PST by StriperSniper (Start heating the TAR, I'll go get the FEATHERS.)
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To: MadIvan
Has anyone noticed that the little girl in the pic does not have the mask over the nose? Won't do her any good if she breathes through her nose.
33 posted on 02/12/2003 6:21:05 AM PST by deziner
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To: Route66
Ah - I see you noticed it too! ;-)
34 posted on 02/12/2003 6:21:49 AM PST by deziner
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To: Enemy Of The State
Supposedly 280 dead. Many medical staff infected.

link

35 posted on 02/12/2003 3:01:44 PM PST by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
i think that is as every bit as exaggerated as the Chicom govt, trying to say that its under control. Would you like to try that bogus link again?
36 posted on 02/12/2003 8:27:58 PM PST by Enemy Of The State
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To: Enemy Of The State
Would you like to try that bogus link again?

What do you mean?

37 posted on 02/12/2003 8:46:22 PM PST by tallhappy
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To: MadIvan
Bump.

This is the SARS.

Apparently the Washington Post sees it as news that it is from China.

38 posted on 03/17/2003 11:05:30 PM PST by tallhappy
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To: tallhappy
I wonder if there's any way to find out how many people have died of this in China, and what the mortality rate is.
39 posted on 03/22/2003 8:43:23 AM PST by aristeides
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To: aristeides
My fear of getting this is not so much dying as getting the hospital bill.
40 posted on 03/22/2003 9:32:56 AM PST by CathyRyan
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To: tallhappy
I called bogus because the page would not display on my computer

Interesting you could call the info on the page as bad as the ChiCom propaganda when you couldn't read it.

Why didn't you answer me when I ask you what you meant then?

I am only pointing out that you downplayed the situation and harshly critcized accurate information.

And then today you talked about it, so I thought I'd point out your track record was not good.

If in the first place you'd been civil and answered me way back when, this could have been cleared up.

As it was it seemed as if you were slamming accurate info and my post -- which was accurate information very early on -- as bogus.

It was not appreciated on my part and was a disservice to others. <P

41 posted on 05/28/2003 8:04:54 AM PDT by tallhappy
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To: aristeides
Is this the first SARS thread? I thought you might know since you've literaly been here from the begining. (or anyone) I'm trying to put together a chronology. Might be interesting all layed out from the perspective of FR info only.
42 posted on 06/02/2003 7:18:06 PM PDT by IYAAYAS (Live free or die trying)
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To: IYAAYAS
This is the earliest I found after trying various searches. Other possibilities but not definitely SARS.
43 posted on 06/02/2003 7:23:53 PM PDT by IYAAYAS (Live free or die trying)
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To: tet68
I was at a hotel breakfast buffet on Sun. standing in line for an omelette, when the omelette cook coughed. No thanks I think I'll have toast. LOL Too many SARS threads on FR, I'm ruined.
44 posted on 06/02/2003 7:32:53 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: IYAAYAS; flutters
I think flutters found a 2001 thread on an atypical pneumonia in Sverdlovsk that might have been SARS. No doubt he can also link you to his chronologically arranged list of threads.
45 posted on 06/03/2003 4:06:39 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: MadIvan
I wonder if this is a variant of SARS.
46 posted on 06/03/2003 4:07:58 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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