[thechat] SARS

Tara Cleveland tara at taracleveland.com
Mon Mar 31 09:34:50 CST 2003

Erik Mattheis wrote:
> Worldwide, there are 1550 cases of SARS. So far 55 people have died.
> That's a 3.5 percent mortality rate.
> I haven't read much about it, but I would imagine many or most the 3.5%
> were people with weak immune systems.
> Eat your veggies, get regular exercise and try not to worry too much.

I know you're trying to comfort me - but you shouldn't assume that I'm not
in the weak immune system camp. Which I am. It also seems to kill perfectly
healthy adults just as easily not just the old, children, etc.

Anyway, a 3.5% death rate is nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended). In the
flu epidemic of 1918, 1 billion people were infected and 20 million died.
That's a 2% death rate. Luckily, so far there is no concrete evidence that
it is airborne. If it is then we're in a whole different situation...

Also, you're kinda missing the point. This is a *horrible* disease. It's
worse than pneumonia. People end up on respirators in the hospital. It's not
just a bad case of the flu...

The other thing is this is a *new* virus. Imagine if we could have isolated
and eradicated the common cold when it first came out - or measles or
scarlet fever or any of the other awful illnesses that have afflicted
people. If it is possible to quarantine people and stop this virus from
spreading to the general population then we may have saved thousands of
horrible deaths. 

I'm not really freaked out by it for my own personal health - I'm freaked
out by the fact that there is an entirely new virus that is spreading. What
if it *was* a new strain of influenza?


More information about the thechat mailing list