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SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

Posted by wendyn on 5/27/03 at 20:45 (120076)

With respect to the SARS:

Why does Toronto have so many cases?

There were a couple people who travelled to Hong Kong who started the whole thing. By the time Toronto even heard the word 'SARS' - it was all ready spreading in the hospital (hard to protect against something you don't know exist). Bad luck basically - they had some highly infectious people and had no idea what they were up against. By the time the SARS word spread, they were in trouble. Then - there were a few misdiagnosed people - which allowed it to spread further. Other cities had the advantage of some advance warning before they encountered any cases. They knew the right questions to ask, and the right things to watch for to make sure that they picked up those dangerous cases quickly.

Bear in mind - that no one has contracted this in Toronto other than in a family/hospital setting. No one is running around in Toronto with a mask on. (Pauline - your friends are welcome to wear their masks - they may be the only ones - but whatever makes them feel better)

With the most recent case - the guy was 96. He had post-surgical pneumonia (happens a lot). Then he got better. The he got sick again. The assumption was that it was a relapse of the first pneumonia (makes sense). Turns out he came into contact with a SARS patient in that hospital somehow - but it wasn't known at the time. He was in the hospital with other SARS patients, maybe he had a girlfriend on another floor? Who knows? That's the part they can't figure out. (How he came into contact with it at the hospital). It's not like he picked it up off the street.

Anyway - he infected other people without anyone realizing what he had and so on and so on.

I would not think twice about travelling to Toronto at this point in time. The WHO will issue a travel warning if they believe there is a risk to the general public. At this point - there is no reason to believe that's the case.

I had steak for dinner. They slaughtered the entire heard where the infected cow came from - they were all fine (I did wait a week to find out before I ate beef again). The cow in question was never intented for human consumption - it was put down because it was sick. I will not lose any sleep on this (other than from an economic perspective) until and unless they find anything else.

Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

Pauline on 5/27/03 at 21:25 (120084)

My best friends were two of the many travelers who were returning from China just after the first breakouts were being reported.

All they knew about SARS was what they saw on CNN while they were there. When they got off the plane in the states reporters were pushing mikes in their face asking them about dead people lying in the streets, how they felt and were their sick people on the plane. Anything just to grab the first stories.

My friends told them they had a wonderful time and they didn't know anything about the outbreak accept what CNN was already reporting.

They are heading for Toronto now. Why not. They already survived the big one.

Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

Carole C in NOLA on 5/28/03 at 11:52 (120148)

Wendy, it sounds like Toronto has got things under control now as far as SARS goes. I'm glad to hear it! News reports here obviously exaggerated the problem.

As far as I know, nobody has got mad cow even in the area where the infected cow was. So, I'm not as concerned about that.

I remember the 'good old days' when all we worried about were mumps, measles, and chickenpox. Probably those were a bigger problem then than these new diseases are today.


Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

Kathy G on 5/28/03 at 18:30 (120207)

Well, there was no press or internet to immediately report each and every person who came down with those diseases! Isn't it wonderful that those diseases have all but been wiped out? Well, not so much chickenpox as there was some problem with the vaccine. Was it actually pulled from the market? I can't remember.

Please refer to Necee's post, above, as to the reason I don't remember!:))

Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

Carole C in NOLA on 5/28/03 at 20:17 (120216)

I'll have to defer to the younger moms on the board for the latest 'scoop' on chickenpox! My daughter had an awful case of it when she was seven. Poor thing! It made me itch just to look at her. Then about a year or two later I heard that a vaccine was becoming available. I didn't know it had been pulled.

You're right about the internet. Information flows really fast, whether it's good or bad. I'll bet that kids 100 years from now talk about the Industrial Revolution and then about the Information Revolution a hundred years later.

Carole C

Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

wendyn on 5/28/03 at 22:59 (120236)

My kids are too old to have experience with the vaccine, but I have never heard that it was pulled.

Re: SARS/Mad-cow/West Nile/Anything else?

wendyn on 5/28/03 at 23:10 (120239)

Carole, you have to remember that not only has it not been found in ANY people, it has not been found in any cows. Except one. One cow that was never sent for food.

The important things is that they find out how it got Mad Cow (if possible) and ensure that no other cows have it.

The only way they know for sure that a cow doesn't have it - is by autopsy.

Needless to say, they're in the process of doing in a lot of cows. The industry has been clear that they are willing to slaughter as many as necessary to restore confidence.