Caduceus Newsletter: Spring 2003.14, Week of April 21. (A study in epidemiology.)  

 

Coronavirus Image from http://www3.btwebworld.com/vdg/gallery/photogallery.html

 

è 1. The bad news is that SARS, like other viral diseases, can disseminate very quickly due to international travel -- CARRIER of SARS MADE 7 FLIGHTS BEFORE TREATMENT, from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.
è 2. The good news is that SARS seems to have peaked -- SARS OUTBREAK HAS PEAKED IN MOST PLACES, SCIENTISTS SAY , from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.
è 3.  HOW ONE PERSON CAN FUEL AN EPIDEMIC, from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.
è 4. Everything, well, maybe not everything, you wanted to learn about coronaviruses -- from http://www.stanford.edu/group/virus/parvo/2000/Coronavirus.jpg
è 5. EXPERIMENTS ON MONKEYS ZERO IN ON SARS CAUSE, from the April 16, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.
è 6. RESEARCHERS BUILDING MATH MODEL OF SARS, from the April 16, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.

 

è 1. The bad news is that SARS, like other viral diseases, can disseminate very quickly due to international travel -- CARRIER of SARS MADE 7 FLIGHTS BEFORE TREATMENT, from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.

CARRIER OF SARS MADE 7 FLIGHTS BEFORE TREATMENT
from The New York Times

HONG KONG, April 10 Health officials announced here tonight that a man
infected with a new respiratory disease had flown from Hong Kong to Munich,
Barcelona, Frankfurt, London, Munich again, Frankfurt again and then back
to Hong Kong before entering a hospital.

The Hong Kong Department of Health appealed for passengers and air crews
from all seven flights to consult medical professionals. A health
department spokeswoman said it was not yet known whether the man, who is
48, had infected anyone else on the flights with the disease severe acute
respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

All the flights were on Lufthansa. The airline said in a statement tonight
that it had disinfected all the planes and was contacting the air crews and
passengers. It said the chances of anyone's having become infected during
the flights were "very remote."
<http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/science/sciencespecial/11SARS.html>

 è 2. The good news is that SARS seems to have peaked -- SARS OUTBREAK HAS PEAKED IN MOST PLACES, SCIENTISTS SAY , from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.

SARS OUTBREAK HAS PEAKED IN MOST PLACES, SCIENTISTS SAY
from The Los Angeles Times

As scientists are growing more confident that they have identified the
cause of the mysterious pneumonia-like illness known as SARS, health
authorities are saying that the worst of the outbreak is over -- at least
in places other than China and Hong Kong.

"The peak in most places is behind us," said Dr. Guenael Rodier of the
World Health Organization. There might be further local outbreaks of the
disease, he said, but officials in most countries are now getting the upper
hand in containing the infection's spread.

WHO said there were 59 new cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome
reported through Thursday, bringing the total to 2,781 cases and 111
deaths. But 38 of those new cases were in China and Hong Kong, with only
small increases reported elsewhere.
<http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-nasars11apr11004423,1,6793775.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dscience> 

 

è 3.  HOW ONE PERSON CAN FUEL AN EPIDEMIC, from the April 14, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.

 HOW ONE PERSON CAN FUEL AN EPIDEMIC

from The New York Times

A child in China so infectious that he is nicknamed "the poison emperor." A Chinese doctor who infects 12 fellow guests in his Hong Kong hotel, who then fly to Singapore, Vietnam and Canada. An elderly Canadian woman who infects three generations of her family.

Watching as the mysterious illness called severe acute respiratory syndrome hopped around the world and exploded in new outbreaks, epidemiologists began to ask themselves an unsettling question: is it carried by "superspreaders"?The notion that some people are hyperinfective, spewing germs out like teakettles while others simmer quietly like stew pots, has been around for at least a century, ever since Typhoid Mary became notorious in 1907. <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/15/health/15SPRE.html>

(Ed. note: By the way, AIDS Patient #1 in the archives of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta was a French Canadian flight attendant who flew international flights between North America, Africa and Europe. Health officials tried to track down all of his sex contacts to alert them of their risk of AIDS -- a total of over 70 people.)

 

è 4. Everything, well, maybe not everything, you wanted to learn about coronaviruses -- from http://www.stanford.edu/group/virus/parvo/2000/Coronavirus.jpg

 A schematic view of a coronavirus from
http://www.csic.es/hispano/ciclo1/2002/m1/m1abr-02/m1abr-02.htm . The caption for the following photo states: Imagen: Estructura del coronavirus TGEV, productor de infecciones entéricas y respiratorias en el ganado porcino. Coronavirus análogos producen el resfriado común de invierno en hombres adultos o infecciones entéricas graves en niños.

 

è 5. EXPERIMENTS ON MONKEYS ZERO IN ON SARS CAUSE, from the April 16, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi.

EXPERIMENTS ON MONKEYS ZERO IN ON SARS CAUSE from The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS, April 15 Monkeys experimentally infected with a new coronavirus have developed an illness similar to the mysterious human respiratory disease SARS, and it is now almost certain that the coronavirus causes the disease, a World Health Organization official said here today.

Dr. David L. Heymann, executive director in charge of communicable diseases for W.H.O., said the agency "is 99 percent sure" that SARS is caused by the new coronavirus based on the monkey experiments in the Netherlands. Experiments on animals are necessary because the lack of an effective treatment for SARS and the relatively high death rate make it unethical to conduct such experiments on humans.

Preliminary findings show that the monkeys developed an illness resembling SARS after the coronavirus was put in their nostrils. Some monkeys developed pneumonia, and examination of their lungs under a microscope showed that the coronavirus caused a pattern of lung damage similar to what affected humans have suffered.
<http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/16/science/sciencespecial/16INFE.html>

 

è 6. RESEARCHERS BUILDING MATH MODEL OF SARS, from the April 16, 2003 issue of In the News, a daily science digest from Sigma Xi. 

RESEARCHERS BUILDING MATH MODEL OF SARS

from The Washington Post

Is there still time to dampen the flames of the SARS epidemic to the point where it can burn itself out? That's the most pressing question in medicine today. A research team in London is trying to answer it by the end of this week.

The researchers, at the University of London's Imperial College, are building a mathematical model that shows how the mysterious, sometimes fatal infection spreads. In numbers and equations, they are expressing the behavior of both people and the coronavirus that appears to cause SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Their goal is to provide insights useful to public health authorities in several countries who are trying hard to keep the epidemic from going worldwide.

For nearly two weeks, Roy Anderson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College, and five other scientists have been analyzing data collected from Hong Kong and Canada, the places the outbreak has been best chronicled. While SARS appears to have originated in China's Guangdong province last fall, the information from that country is not complete enough to be useful.
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33699-2003Apr15.html>

Dr. Stan Eisen, Director
Preprofessional Health Programs
Biology Department
Christian Brothers University
650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104
E-mail: seisen@cbu.edu
http://www.cbu.edu/~seisen/