More to report to you on the deadly disease called SARS—severe acute respiratory syndrome. Brian purchia has details
Fear is spreading about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS faster than the illness itself; health officials admit they're puzzled by the epidemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci from the U.S. National Institutes of Health:
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
"We just don't know whether it's going to peak and then go down or whether it will go down and then come back up.”
Officials in China’s Guangdong province say the outbreak of SARS is in their words "under control."
The comments come after the World Health Organization criticized China for not requesting help sooner in dealing with the disease.
In the five months since SARS first appeared in China, it has spread to five continents, killing nearly 100 people and infecting at least 2,600 others.
The epidemic is straining relations between countries says Singapore’s Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (GO CHAWK TAWNG) …while the total economic impact of SARS is not yet known.
SINGAPORE PRIME MINISTER GOH CHOK TONG
"I think it would be very bad, first air travel has come down and the hospitality industry has been affected…What percentage will it affect the growth in Asia at this stage we will not know.”
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Julie Gerberding told lawmakers the disease has become an international epidemic.
DR. JULIE GERBERDING, CENTERS FOR DIESASE CONTROL & PREVENTION
"We have to be prepared for this to continue to spread. And we are doing everything we can across the public health system to be out in front of it."
Until now, doctors believed that SARS spread to others through saliva or mucus. But officials in Hong Kong are looking at an apartment complex where hundreds of residents were infected to see whether SARS could be transmitted through water contaminated with human waste or rodents.