April 28, 2003

US needs to take SARS seriously

"We haven't had the kind of long chains of transmission that we've seen in some other countries, but there is no reason why that couldn't happen here," Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said regarding the SARS epidemic on "Fox News Sunday." This Washington Post story says that it is only due to luck that SARS is not rampant in the United States. "No matter how talented the health workers are and what resources are available, an event like this quickly taxes it to the extreme," said Jeffrey P. Koplan, a physician at Emory University in Atlanta and former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who just returned from spending a week in Hong Kong. "There is nothing that has happened in Toronto that couldn't happen anywhere in the United States."

I noticed an online poll during my news surfing yesterday where the posted result showed that people were equally divided about whether they were concerned about SARS. 51% said they were concerned and 49% had no concern. There needs to be more concern. "Experts say they believe SARS is transmitted most easily through close human contact, often from sneezing or coughing. But some laboratory analysis and several cases suggest it may survive on surfaces for several hours, making it possible to spread the germ simply by touching objects," the Washinton Post story says. "[I]t would be a dangerous mistake to assume the contagious virus causing SARS will not still strike in larger numbers here."

Posted by Tiger at April 28, 2003 02:44 AM