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Hong Kong - Chasing the Virus, June 2003

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Chasing the Virus"

Tracing Disease Outbreaks

On the Trail of a Killer

Scientists spell out their approach to SARS

International Health Organizations, Search for a Quick Cure, Economic Fallout




Links and Resources

• Up-to-the-Minute News
• International Health Response
• Search for a Quick Cure
• Global Economic Impact
• Fallout in China and Hong Kong

Up-to-the-Minute News

By June 11, 2003, 8,435 people worldwide had been infected with SARS, and 789 had died. Multiple media and government sources are providing the latest news about SARS, reporting about new cases, treatment developments, travel alerts and economic effects. These include Yahoo! News -- SARS, The New York Times Science Special -- The SARS Epidemic, NPR's complete coverage of SARS, The NewsHour's SARS Special Report and the CDC.

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International Health Response

World Health Organization
Since issuing its first-ever Global Health Alert on March 2003, the World Health Organization has taken the lead in monitoring SARS as the disease has moved around the globe. Other institutions researching and tracking the disease include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States and the International Society for Infectious Diseases' Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases.

"Coping With SARS"
May 8, 2003
The NewsHour's Ray Suarez interviews experts who weigh the possible societal effects of quarantines and other aggressive measures to contain SARS.

"Lack of Care Raises China's SARS Fears"
May 28, 2003
In villages outside China's urban centers, panic has set in. Ninety percent of Chinese in the countryside have no health insurance, and many don't have access to adequate medical care. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Jehangir Pocha investigates how market-oriented reforms in China's rural health system have worsened the overall quality of care in clinics.

"SARS Shows WHO Disease Hunters' Skills, and Limits"
May 31, 2003
The Washington Post's Rob Stein visits the WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, in essence, a global NORAD for health epidemics. In the words of the man in charge, "I guess you could say we're the eyes and the ears, and the arms and the legs, of the world when it comes to disease outbreak."

"Help! I'm Stuck in Quarantine, and I Can't Get Out!"
June 1, 2003
Donald McNeil Jr. of The New York Times writes about being quarantined for 10 days upon his return from Taiwan.

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Search for a Quick Cure

Progress on SARS
Science magazine's comprehensive collection of papers and news on SARS includes several reports on the epidemiology of the disease as well as models of key structures in the virus and information on the swift mapping of its genome.

"Faster ... but Fast Enough?"
April 2, 2003
Dr. Julie Gerberding considers the scientific community's response to the SARS outbreak in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Speed of scientific discovery and speed of communication are hallmarks of the response to SARS and reflect amazing achievements," she writes. "However, despite these advances ... can we prevent a global pandemic of SARS?"

Coronavirus Never Before Seen in Humans Is the Cause of SARS
April 16, 2003
An unprecedented collaboration of 13 laboratories in 10 countries led to the discovery that SARS is caused by a coronavirus, a member of a viral family first found in chickens. It was given the name "corona" because of the crownlike appearance of structures on its surface.

"Tracking Down the Source of SARS"
May 13, 2003
National Public Radio's Richard Knox examines human diseases thought to originate in animals, a list that now includes SARS. Finding the first few human cases of such diseases is crucial, but in southern China, where SARS first broke out, investigators are running into government resistance.

Scientists Battle the Spread of SARS
May 20, 2003
The NewsHour's Susan Dentzer visits researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to ask questions about efforts to develop a vaccine for SARS.

"Rise of a Virus: Global Collaboration on SARS Bears Fruit"
May 26, 2003
Denise Grady and Lawrence Altman of The New York Times follow the trail of scientific progress on SARS as information about the disease circuits the globe.

David Ho, Time's 1996 Person of the Year
Seven years before SARS appeared as his newest challenge, David Ho was already a nationally recognized figure. Time magazine gave Ho its highest accolade for his contribution to AIDS research.

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Global Economic Impact

"Working With Fear of SARS"
April 18, 2003
The NewsHour's Margaret Warner speaks with economic experts on the impact of SARS on the financial markets of Hong Kong, China and other regions of Asian.

"SARS Raises Concerns Over Asian-Produced Technology"
May 9, 2003
NPR's John McChesney reports from Silicon Valley, where technology firms are increasingly worried about the impact of SARS on business. Manufacturers of computer parts in Asia are preparing for business disruptions if the disease continues to spread.

"Globalization Opens Door to New Dangers"
May 27, 2003
Globalization works better in times of peace and security, writes Daniel Yergin in a USA Today editorial. Yergin argues that the same networks that opened up travel, communications and trade can be harnessed by less benevolent forces, such as terrorism and disease.

"SARS' Toll on Asian Economies Will Linger"
May 30, 2003
Tourism in Hong Kong is off; engineers who commonly move between Taiwan, China and the United States are stymied; the slowdown in exports from Asia is already at the point of affecting holiday shelf supplies in the United States. Reporter Keith Bradsher of The New York Times looks at the long-term economic implications of SARS for global trade and economy.

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Fallout in China and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Department of Health: SARS
Jointly maintained by Hong Kong's Information Services Department and the Department of Health, this site lists SARS-related daily news, bulletins and figures and locations of confirmed and suspected SARS patients. Director of Health Margaret Chan also outlines the government's four-pronged strategy to control the outbreak: early detection, swift contact tracing, prompt isolation and quarantine, and effective containment.

China Internet Information Center: SARS
The authorized government portal site to China provides reports on the latest SARS news, including news about government efforts to contain the disease.

People's Daily Online: Combats SARS
The English-language online edition of this Beijing-based newspaper offers extensive reporting on the status of the disease in the capital and across mainland China and on global efforts to control SARS.

Pacific Time's Archived Radio Reports on SARS
Pacific Time, a weekly public radio program, examines the effects of SARS around the Pacific Rim and in North America.

"Hong Kong's Unhealthy Relationship With the Mainland"
April 9, 2003
Reporting from Hong Kong, Los Angeles Times reporter Ching-Ching Ni looks at how the SARS crisis highlights Hong Kong's uneasy relationship with mainland China. Though Hong Kong remains an open society with a free press, the Beijing-appointed Hong Kong administration "fumbled in denial and inaction," Ni reports, resulting in a loss of credibility for both the local and the national governments.

"SARS outbreak at Amoy Gardens"
April 18, 2003
The Sydney Morning Herald outlines the Hong Kong Department of Health's findings from its investigation into the SARS outbreak at the Amoy Gardens apartment complex, where more than 320 people were infected and 42 died. The report details the epidemiological and environmental factors behind the outbreak, as well as the actions taken by the government to contain it.

"Some Say China's Response to SARS Has Been Too Heavy-Handed"
May 23, 2003
Joseph Kahn of The New York Times reports from China, where anxiety about SARS is easing and the debate about the government's handling of the disease is just beginning. The Communist Party's propaganda machine has been operating in "overdrive," Kahn writes, with television news "full of maudlin homages to health-care workers, referred to as 'white-coated warriors' and 'angels in white.'"

"China Said to Hamper World Fight on SARS"
June 2, 2003
The International Herald Tribune's Thomas Crampton reports from Manila, the base of the World Health Organization's battle against SARS, about the varied reactions of governments to the crisis.

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