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Month: April 2003

Elsewhere: The cockroaches are coming

Great. Not only will cockroaches outlive us all, now they’re going to be the death of us, too. According to a BBC News report, it is suspected that cockroaches are spreading SARS.

The cockroach theory was voiced by Hong Kong Deputy Director of Health Leung Pak-yin on Monday.
He was talking about how the disease managed to spread like wildfire through an apartment block at Amoy Gardens in Kowloon.
In just a few days, more than 300 new cases arose among residents of the block.
The cases left health officials baffled and deeply concerned, as many of the 300 had had no direct contact with anyone who had Sars.
Leung said: “The drainage may be the reason.
“It is possible that the cockroaches carried the virus into the homes.”

I still remain convinced that this is one of the more worrying stories to have emerged in the last few months and yet it remains buried by wall-to-wall coverage of the Iraq War. Still, at least the WHO seems to be taking the threat seriously and doing its best to contain it.

Elsewhere: We’re All Going To Die

I admit that it’s an unnecessarily sensationalist headline, even for me, but illness has been uppermost in my thoughts of late. The War in Iraq seems to have driven all news of this nasty little virus, the one that’s killing dozens of people and spreading rapidly across the world, from our thoughts. That’s not a good thing. Unless some way is found to stop the little killer and then to treat it, it could become a serious threat to human life.

This is from BBC News:

The illness, dubbed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), has so far killed 63 people worldwide, and infected nearly 1,800.

Initially it was thought that the illness could only be spread by close contact. But Dr Hitoshi Oshitani, a World Health Organization expert, told the BBC that this was not necessarily the case.

He said: “In most cases infection occurs by close person-to-person contact, but there are several cases now that we cannot explain by this model of transmission.”

He stressed that SARS was more contagious than the deadly Ebola virus.

You can’t launch a liberating invasion of the human body, you know.