Thanks to my friend Erika who likes to share her book choices (all non-fiction), I've started reading a couple of non-fiction books. They are both on SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), the mystery illness that took the entire world by storm in late 2002 and early 2003.
In the autumn of 2002 in southern China, a previously unknown virus jumped the species barrier from animal to man and sparked the first global epidemic of the new century. The disease sped along the air routes of a globalized world, spreading within months to thirty-one countries on every continent.Before it was reined in by a remarkable international scientific effort, the SARS virus demonstrated human society's vulnerability to disease. New infectious diseases like SARS have been emerging at an alarming rate over the past few decades. There is every indication the world will continue to face new viral diseases, some of them much more lethal and contagious than SARS.
This book traces the emergence of SARS, in the process examining the global politics and economics of disease. It provides the first behind-the-scenes account of how the global battle against SARS was fought and the incredible research efforts that finally led to identification of the virus.
Drawing on unprecedented access to scientists, doctors, and recovered patients, Thomas Abraham recounts the pressures and heartbreaks suffered by brave researchers who battled the clock to solve the SARS puzzle―even as colleagues and friends succumbed to the disease.
"The caller at the other end of the phone was from the Manila office of the World Health Organization (WHO), and his message was alarming. Flying over the Atlantic Ocean on a Singapore Airlines flight was a critically ill man who had to be hospitalized in an isolation ward as soon as possible... There were over 300 passengers on the jet, which was bound for Singapore via Frankfurt, and unless the man was taken off the plane, they were all in danger."
"On March 15, while David Heymann and his team were toiling away on their global travel alert in Geneva, a 72-year-old man boarded Air China flight 112 from Hong Kong to Beijing... Not only was he sick, he also happened to be a super-spreader of the disease. From his seat, 14E, he infected 21 other passengers and crew members."
The illness which spread to more than two dozen countries, was finally contained, but not before the global outbreak of 2003 was contained.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control, in the US):
Since 2004, there have not been any known cases of SARS reported anywhere in the world.A 2003 article published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides a review, including the cause of SARS:
The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is responsible for the first pandemic of the 21st century. Within months after its emergence in Guangdong Province in mainland China, it had affected more than 8000 patients and caused 774 deaths in 26 countries on five continents. It illustrated dramatically the potential of air travel and globalization for the dissemination of an emerging infectious disease and highlighted the need for a coordinated global response to contain such disease threats.I am currently reading both and comparing the information each contains.
Of course, I had to create my own interpretation of SARS, only the alcohol bled. When I tried to blot it dry, it smeared. Still, it looks like a deadly pathogen to me.
Turning from my nightstand to my guillotine cutter, I was recently reminded of the annual ICAD challenge, which I have participated in for the past three years. However, since Tammy at Daisy Yellow, the host, doesn't have a way for me to link except on social media sites I'm not a part of (yes, I'm ONLY a blogger and proud of it), I will once again share my ICADs here once a week.
Tammy also insisted we buy these little cards. I realize they are about $2.00 (USD) for enough to last at least a year and a half, but why buy something when I have so many, many used file folders just waiting patiently to be used (and cut to index card size). So once again, I've cut 62 index cards from file folders. I have one extra in case something bad happens to one.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope the SARS virus never becomes a pandemic again, and we learned to trust health organizations outside our own countries and share information before it becomes uncontrollable.
And I hope you will also join me by making an index card a day from June 1 to July 31 this year. Again, thanks so much for your visits.