Comprehensive coverage

Research: The SARS virus does not create mutations

The researchers: the findings strengthen the chance of developing a vaccine; The health organization: mortality from Sars may be almost 3 times higher than estimated

A girl is tested for Sars

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The first study carried out on the genome of the virus that causes the atypical pneumonia (SARS) states that the virus did not create significant mutations during its passage in different countries. This is what "The New York Times" reports today (Friday). Two researchers from Canada and Singapore, who published the study, state that these are encouraging findings. This is because if the virus remains stable, this improves the chances of developing a vaccine against it.
Addison Lu and Errol Brown further stated that their findings indicate that, unlike the behavior of other new diseases, the SARS virus did not weaken after several generations.

The researchers examined for several weeks 14 samples of the virus taken from patients in all the countries where the disease reached. The World Health Organization confirmed yesterday that the death rate from SARS may be higher than first estimated. An international group of researchers claimed this week that the average mortality rate from the disease is 15-14%, contrary to estimates of 6-5% among those aged 60 and over, it may even reach 55%. However, in the study no evidence was found to support the statements made by researchers from Hong Kong last week, according to which the SARS virus has developed more deadly mutations. About two weeks ago, a group of researchers in Britain claimed that the mortality rate from Sars was around 10%

A one-and-a-half-year-old Israeli baby was hospitalized yesterday in isolation at Bnei Zion Hospital in Haifa, suspected of contracting SARS. The baby returned about ten days ago on a flight from Toronto in Canada and this morning he arrived at the hospital suffering from a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. From the experience accumulated so far in the world on the disease, it appears that it affects children less in comparison
for adults

Experts around the world emphasize that the various findings on the higher death rates, some of which stem from different research methods, must be treated with caution. Prof. Manfred Green, director of the Israel National Center for Disease Control, estimates that in the end the mortality rate from Sars will indeed be higher and is expected to be 12-11%, however Green clarifies that "when the outbreak of the disease is still in progress and there is a proliferation of cases of morbidity Some of them die, calculating the mortality rate is problematic."

Taiwan was added to the list of risk areas of the health organization yesterday, after the number of people infected with Sars increased in recent days. In Taiwan, 22 more suspected cases were reported and officials said the next five days would be critical in trying to prevent the spread of the disease. In Taiwan, 13 people have died from SARS so far.

The rate of deaths from Sars in the world crossed the 500 mark yesterday. China reported today that six more people died from the disease and 118 were tested for it. This brings the number of dead in China to 230 and the number of sick to about 4,800. In Shanghai, China's commercial capital, the first death from SARS was reported yesterday. The number of people infected in the world exceeds 7,400

The SARS outbreak in the world started in China in November 2002 and from there it spread to other countries. The World Health Organization first became aware of the disease only in February, as the Chinese authorities concealed its true extent. China has not yet managed to control Sars and yesterday reported 146 new cases of infection in the country. However, yesterday about 400 students, lecturers and workers at a university in Beijing were released from isolation, after being in isolation for about two weeks. The World Health Organization emphasizes that China is the key to stopping the Sars outbreak in the world, after the other countries have shown signs in recent days that they are succeeding in curbing the disease. The fear is that Sars will also spread to the more remote areas of China, where the deployment of medical services is poorer.

Hong Kong announced today 6 new cases of infection with the disease. This is the lowest daily number of infections in Hong Kong since the SARS outbreak and the sixth day in a row that fewer than 10 new cases have been reported; Until the end of March, the average daily number of infections was over .80. From the beginning of the week, the number of daily infections in Hong Kong was less than .10

Russia yesterday denied reports that the first SARS patient had been discovered in the country. This is a Hagar resident near the border with China, which Russia closed to prevent the spread of the disease to it.

Recommendation in China: do not shake hands

Because of the fear of contracting an epidemic, senior officials in Beijing recommend returning to the traditional bow

Experts from the World Health Organization will go on an inspection tour today in several provinces in central China, to check the effectiveness of the Chinese health system in the fight against Sars. The experts fear the outbreak of the epidemic in the rural areas of China.

Senior officials in the capital Beijing called on citizens to avoid shaking hands for fear of infection, and to be satisfied with a polite bow.

A spokesman for the Chinese government said yesterday that 146 new cases were discovered in the country, and five people died from the disease, including the first death in Shanghai.

In China, public anger is growing over the government's performance in the fight against the epidemic. Yesterday we learned about a clash between the police and citizens in the city of Shangada, in northwest China. According to reports by foreign reporters, the incident took place on April 27, after a rumor spread in the city about the hospitalization of a citizen who was suspected of having the disease, in the local hospital. Eyewitnesses said that about 300 citizens threw stones at an ambulance and beat medical teams. Police forces arrived at the scene, dispersed the protesters and arrested at least 60 protesters.

In many villages, the residents have set up barriers and are preventing foreigners from entering, due to fear of contracting the disease.

In Taiwan, there was an increase in the sale of bras, after the stock of normal masks ran out. "I went into all the pharmacies in the city and found out that you can't get a mask to protect against Sars, then someone came up with the idea of ​​using a half bra, and it works great," said a resident of Taiwan in an interview with a local TV station.

It turns out that following the SARS scare in Taiwan, where 360 ​​patients have been registered so far, the stock of medical masks ran out, and a small factory for the production of bras was mobilized for the task: the bras are cut into two halves and laces are sewn on the sides. The recycled bras come in all the colors of the rainbow, so Taiwanese citizens can vary their mask look.

The World Health Organization has expanded the warnings against Sars, on the Yahoo website
Yadan who follows the SARS disease

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