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WHO suspects hundreds more Beijing SARS deaths
Taiwan ^ | 2003-04-18

Posted on 04/17/2003 7:09:04 PM PDT by CathyRyan

The World Health organization said the killer SARS epidemic is much worse in China than officials have acknowledged, after finding unreported cases at secretive military hospitals.

The WHO said the capital, Beijing, may have five times the official number of 40 deaths after visiting hospitals run by the military "which seems to have its own system of reporting," said Wolfgang Preiser of the WHO team. .

WHO Executive Director for Communicable Diseases David Heymann said the team estimated there were at least 50 SARS patients in one military hospital alone. .

"They (the WHO experts) also estimated there are between 100-200 probable cases in Beijing, more than has been reported, and they feel that there might even be up to 1,000 people who are under observation right now," Heymann told a briefing in Geneva, adding that many of those may not be SARS cases. .

The illness has already spread to a number of provinces, cities and regions in the world's most populous nation and Heymann feared the disease could spread further in coming weeks as millions of Chinese take a week-long holiday in early May. .

SARS has killed at least 65 people and infected 1,445 in mainland China -- nearly half of the world's cases -- since it first surfaced in southern Guangdong province in November. .

The virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has been carried by air travellers to 23 countries, infecting more than 3,400 people and killing about 160 worldwide. .


Nine residents of a Hong Kong housing estate have come down with SARS, sparking fears of a repeat of an outbreak that ravaged another high-rise apartment complex recently in the territory of seven million people. .

Singapore and Hong Kong, both hit hard by the virus, have begun checking airline passengers for fevers. .

Australian authorities yesterday reported three probable SARS cases -- three children visiting from Canada -- in what could be the country's first cases. But they said the children had recovered and the disease has not spread to family members. .

The WHO officially confirmed that a member of the coronavirus family, never before seen in humans, causes the flu-like SARS, which is contagious, sometimes fatal and has no known cure. .

The finding allows scientist to focus on diagnostic tests, treatment and new vaccines -- if needed. .

Experts were optimistic the disease could be controlled using existing measures, but warned the coronavirus family tended to mutate relatively quickly. .

In a further sign of urgency, U.S. scientists have asked more than a dozen American and European healthcare companies to help develop a SARS vaccine, a process that could take years. .

"You grow the virus, kill it, and there you go. You have a vaccine. But it would still take years to actually have the vaccine in the bottle and ready to distribute," said Dr Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an interview. .

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson accused China of keeping information about SARS under wraps, thus letting the virus spread and claim more lives. .

"We've been very upset with the transparency of the Chinese government... We think lives could have been saved. We could have controlled it," he told Reuters in Rome. .

The criticism is bound to sting the Chinese leadership, which has taken steps to improve transparency after international condemnation for keeping quiet when SARS appeared. .

China said yesterday its economy grew 9.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter -- the fastest pace in six years -- but SARS will cast a pall over future growth. .

Economists estimate that the epidemic has already caused at least US$30 billion in losses worldwide and will pose more of a threat to Asia's economic growth than the war on Iraq, through lower tourist earnings and reduced consumer spending.

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beijing; china; coverup; reporting; sars
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To: friendly
What are the chances that this virus was bio-engineered? I heard that some Russian scientist said it included some measles and mumps features, but I'm not sure about the science behind his comment.
21 posted on 04/17/2003 8:16:51 PM PDT by JunkYardFrog (Keep an eye on SARS....)
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To: JunkYardFrog
No, just use HTML.
22 posted on 04/17/2003 8:18:52 PM PDT by Hazzardgate
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To: CathyRyan
I think the Chinese are running the risk of causing a LOT more deaths from SARS inside China if they don't come clean (both figuratively and literally) about this disease.

People forget that China has something like 1.3 billion people, the vast majority of which live in the eastern half of the country. A 5% mortality rate could mean the death toll from SARS could reach as high as 65 million, way more than the number of people killed from the infamous Spanish flu outbreak of 1918.

23 posted on 04/17/2003 8:39:19 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: JunkYardFrog
But for unknown reasons, the death rate in Canada is about double; 12 of the country's 126 cases have been fatal, a death rate of 9.5 percent.

But, that's impossible- Canada's healthcare system is superior to that of any other country, don't you know.

24 posted on 04/17/2003 8:49:29 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason (np Be Bop Deluxe "Panic in the World")
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To: JunkYardFrog
What are the chances that this virus was bio-engineered?

With socialist/liberal scum like the ChiComs it is entirely possible.

25 posted on 04/17/2003 8:53:13 PM PDT by friendly
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To: JunkYardFrog
Type < the letter i> paste the quote Type </the letter i> Type < the letter p > type your response.
26 posted on 04/17/2003 8:56:59 PM PDT by friendly
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To: Admin Moderator
Would you please pull this thread. Thank you
27 posted on 04/17/2003 9:14:59 PM PDT by CathyRyan
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To: RayChuang88
Given China's population density in the eastern part of the country, it wouldn't be unreasonable to eventually see nerly 1/2 the population become infected. That's 650 million people. At nearly 20% death rate (and that's prior to overloading the health care system to complete collapse), then the death toll on China could exceed 130 million people. Combine that with a worldwide ban on ANYTHING from China, I'd say that they would be looking at the early middle ages at best here.

I wouldn't call this The Stand Lite - it may indeed turn into the full strength version should this thing mutate into a more deadly strain. Illicit bioweapons production can become more deadly to the offending nation than their intended targets. Not to gloat, but if that is the case I have no pity for them whatsoever.

28 posted on 04/17/2003 9:23:00 PM PDT by 11B3 (Happiness IS a warm gun.)
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To: CathyRyan
I heard on one of the cable news shows this evening that Beijing has suspended classes/activities at a university, apparently SARS related.
29 posted on 04/17/2003 9:37:41 PM PDT by XEHRpa
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To: CathyRyan; EternalHope
The article states, and you presented in bold type, that the WHO suspects that five times the official figure of 40 SARS deaths may have occurred in Beijing. Thus, it is acceptable (though barely so), to speak of hundreds of additional SARS deaths, rather than cases.
30 posted on 04/18/2003 12:59:21 AM PDT by mrustow (no tag)
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To: CathyRyan
SARS could do to Chinese Communism what the pro-democracy movement in Tianamen Square couldn't do.
31 posted on 04/18/2003 1:00:45 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
M.O.O.N. that spells SCARY.
32 posted on 04/18/2003 2:28:49 AM PDT by desertsolitaire (Desert solitaire)
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To: mrustow
I added the bold print.
33 posted on 04/18/2003 4:48:21 AM PDT by CathyRyan
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To: 11B3
The more I think about it, the more I think SARS is essentially a rebirth of the infamous Spanish flu outbreak of 1918--humans are being infected by a particularly virulent form of the coronavirus (a family of viruses that causes most common forms of influenza and common colds). I think the SARS virus--which has been identified genetically just within the last week--will probably stop being dangerous to humans within a year, but not before it ends up causing thousands of deaths in China due to government neglect and secrecy.
34 posted on 04/18/2003 4:57:18 AM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: CathyRyan
Cathy, thanks for this post. I didn't see it till this morning, and I think it should stand.
35 posted on 04/18/2003 5:00:00 AM PDT by Judith Anne (God bless our soldiers with swift victory...)
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To: Diogenesis; WaterDragon; dinodino; Mother Abigail; CathyRyan; per loin; Dog Gone; Petronski; ...
Could the cases in Chinese military hospitals be military personnel? The Spanish flu started in military bases.
36 posted on 04/18/2003 5:05:39 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: Judith Anne
The article is still up where I got it from and it was reuters so I guess so. I just did not want to pass on bad info. (if it was)
37 posted on 04/18/2003 5:07:20 AM PDT by CathyRyan
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To: aristeides
If I had to guess, I'd say all the cases in the military hospitals are the cases they tried to hide back when they still thought the whole thing could be covered up.
38 posted on 04/18/2003 5:15:00 AM PDT by Petronski (I'm not always cranky.)
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To: Diogenesis; WaterDragon; dinodino; Mother Abigail; CathyRyan; per loin; Dog Gone; Petronski; ...
China hid SARS patients - report .
39 posted on 04/18/2003 5:15:35 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
I think this should have it's own thread.
40 posted on 04/18/2003 5:21:43 AM PDT by CathyRyan
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