SARS is back

Last year we were on the train from Wuhan to Guangzhou when we got a barrage of text messages warning us to stay out of the city as there was some new mysterious illness, noone knew what was going on, rumours of people dead all over town, everyone wearing face masks, and coincidently a guy in our carriage coughing his lungs out. Turned out to be nothing serious, just another new south China virus, everything went back to normal in a couple of days excet for the stink of burning vinegar and 1/2 empty bars.

I went to Hong Kong the same day as the doctor who brought SARS to Mongkok did, and outbreaks followed me to Australia (just a rumour), Toronto, Beijing, and pretty much everywhere else.

This time, i can be certain it wasn’t me. Vice Minister of Health Zhu Qinsheng confirmed the occurence of two cases, one in Beijing, and one in Anhui. He assured a meeting of Asian health ministers that unlike last year, China had learnt denial was not an effective method of treating SARS, and he would keep the public alerted. Now how about the same attitude to HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis?