Sunday, April 27, 2003

SARS May Be Unstoppable

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, The Boston Globe, 4-26-3, HONG KONG -- "The battle to contain the respiratory disease known as SARS looked grimmer than ever Friday after a World Health Organization official warned that it may be too late to stamp out the virus in China and in other developing countries. Adding to the downbeat assessment Friday, Jeffrey Koplan, a former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, said that even with the best efforts by leading scientists, the disease will probably never be eradicated. More than two dozen countries are grappling with varying outbreaks of the flulike illness, which had killed 274 worldwide and sickened 4,649 as of Friday ... With infections now confirmed in two-thirds of China's provinces and mounting daily, "hope dwindles" for wiping out the disease, WHO virologist Wolfgang Preiser said from Shanghai. Even in "Singapore and Hong Kong, very rich places, they still have problems. We are worried about the spread to poor provinces, maybe countries such as India and Bangladesh," where "we don't think they have the capacity to stem the tide once it's introduced."

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