INTERNATIONAL: SARS Update
Because of recent outbreaks of SARS, Russia has closed some
of its border crossings with China. Such extreme measures to contain the disease
have also included a ban on commercial flights from China, Taiwan and Hong
Kong-regions hit especially hard by the disease. Closings have occurred, according
to officials, in regions where there is an inability to monitor for carriers
of SARS. There are now over 20 people in quarantine in the country who are
suspected of being infected by the disease.
SARS, the mysterious flu-like sickness that has spread rapidly
first throughout Southeast and East Asia and now to other parts of the world,
has reportedly killed over 500 people worldwide. The disease, which is suspected
to have originated in Guangdong, a province in southern China adjacent to
Hong Kong, has quickly spread infecting close to three thousand people throughout
the world, although China remains the place with the highest number of cases,
which has increased to over 4,500 in recent weeks. In Beijing, China's capital,
the government has quarantined over 18, 000 people suspected of being infected
by the disease.
In an effort at continued research into the impact of the disease,
the World Health Organization (WHO) has begun a probe of rural China. It has
been a concern of the Chinese government that the impact of SARS could be
most keen in rural areas that lack adequate diagnostic and care facilities.
Although fears of the spread of SARS in rural areas continue, WHO officials
have stated that urban areas, still the worst hit in the country, remain the