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Is SARS on the Decline?

 
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 5:41 pm    Post subject: Is SARS on the Decline? Reply with quote

Hi Guys and Girls,

Help! I'm in between a rock and a hard place at this time. I've been offered a job in Tianjin at a private elementary school. I know how close this city is to Bejing and am wondering if SARS is actually on the decline in China. The reason I ask this is that if it is getting worse then I will not be going to China or taking the job that is on the table in front of me.
Does anyone know the situation in Bejing? Does the government say that SARS will be under control by the end of the summer or is that just a cover up to something that is spreading rapidly?
I would like to hear from the crowd that know the situation and whether or not they think it is a good idea to go to China in September... Confused

Much appreciated
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chinafriendhere



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in Jinan, which is also close to Beijing. Everything seems very normal here. I have friends in some other cities that say everything in their city is closed. The Chinese government reported only two new cases in China and no deaths. Either these cities are overreacting or there are a lot more cases. I have heard some horror stories about some major problems in Tianjin, but then rumors are flying in every city. Hopefully someone can give you a first hand account.
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MyTurnNow



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
Posts: 860
Location: Outer Shanghai

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jojo,

SARS seems to be slowing down here but there are still new cases cropping up. And the hysteria is still going too but the mood seems to be relaxing just a tad, at least in the Greater Shanghai area. People are starting to trickle back into restaurants etc., but my girlfriend and I had to have our temperatures taken at the door just to enter a local teahouse. A lot of schools are still closed but that is slowly reversing. Travel along certain corridors (especially those involving Beijing) is still pretty iffy.

Tianjin is indeed very close to Beijing and while its outbreak pales compared to that of Beijing, it has still been pretty serious. The May 30 issue of the official China Daily cites 175 total cases, with 90 more suspected cases. There have been 14 deaths.

I would not recommend coming to China right now, especially to Beijing, Tianjin, or Shanxi or Hubei provinces. Not much fear of the disease needed- if it was really easy to catch we'd be reading about millions of cases here instead of a few thousand. But there is still a lot of paranoia and a lot of restriction, and some areas including mine still can't issue Residence Permits to new foreigners.

But for September I think you should keep your options open. It's hard to call the future but I think your chance of success in coming here, and being happy you did, is pretty good.

MT
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SARS is definitely on the decline. Why one day a hospital in Beijing had 50 cases, the next day they only had 16 cases (granted, because they changed the way they reported, they decided to only report SARS patients who were from the hospitals district)

I don't know if SARS is/was as bad as they say. But I do know that millions of migrant workers were in Beijing, and fled at the beginning of the SARS panic. These migrant workeres live in very very packed living quarters, sometimes sharing the same bed, working hot shifts.

If SARS was dangerous to anyone besides hospital and prison workers (and their families) it would be dangerous to these migrant workers. PreSARS, this group was at risk for getting sick and dying from TB and pneumonias.

Strange, I haven't heard ofmany reports about this large group of at risk people. Either SARS wasn't /isn't all that bad, or their is a lot of under-reporting going on (Or both)

Many of these migrant workers who left Beijing at the beginning of the SARS scare have returned to their home provinces, poor rural areas. And we know how good health care is there.
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks MT and Arioch for your replies. It is good to know what is going on over there from you guys that are already there. I'll keep my eyes open for what happens over the next few weeks or so before I make a decision. Are they still having incoming foreigners to Bejing to be quarantined for 10 days or are those days over with? Hopefully this all blows over sooner than later.

Jojo
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chinafriend as well.. Very Happy
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kimo



Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Posts: 668

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2003 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arioch 36 wrote:

Quote:
SARS is definitely on the decline. Why one day a hospital in Beijing had 50 cases, the next day they only had 16 cases (granted, because they changed the way they reported, they decided to only report SARS patients who were from the hospitals district)

I don't know if SARS is/was as bad as they say. But I do know that millions of migrant workers were in Beijing, and fled at the beginning of the SARS panic. These migrant workeres live in very very packed living quarters, sometimes sharing the same bed, working hot shifts.

If SARS was dangerous to anyone besides hospital and prison workers (and their families) it would be dangerous to these migrant workers. PreSARS, this group was at risk for getting sick and dying from TB and pneumonias.


That is my district you are speaking about, buddy! You are true about the migrants. They do live packed into places. There are twice as many as they will admit to. That is no problem. They do a lot of good work here.

As for SARS and the migrants, I will give my humble opinion. I do not believe they were in the group most likely to acquire it initially. Most of them here are not from the South where the epidemic originated. Many of the people who brought it here (it seems) were business people and some students who picked it up in in the South, specifically Guangdong -these people in turn gave it to medical staff who infected other staff and their own family members. An example of this can be found in a recent article in the Wshtn Pst about a Shanxi business woman who came here seeking help. Her whole treatment (mistreatment) was a debacle. Maybe all those who arrived here with her in her entourage got sick and since the medical staff didn't know what it was up against ....you know that part. Also, these migrants, when they get sick, are very uninclined to seek help at a medical facility because of the relatively high costs involved. I believe they had little exposure exactly because of the lifestyle they live. The next time around that will probably not be so.

All that is just my opinion.

I will say when I had a temp. of 37 six last week I was more than a little scared. However the hospital told me I had a cold and not to come until it got to 38. Don't think I didn't check and recheck the symptoms on the net several times. This morning I'm at a cool 36 two.

Draw your own conclusions, folks.[/quote]
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chinafriendhere



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 10:22 am    Post subject: China Gov says Bejing clear Reply with quote

The latest update on the BBC quoted the Chinese government as saying that Beijing is safe for travel.
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yaco



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 473

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 6:14 pm    Post subject: sars Reply with quote

Jojo, are you joking.

Isn't Toronto part of Ontario province.

Better you worry about your own neck of the woods.
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Jojo



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 119
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaco,
No, I am not joking. I realize SARS is here in Ontario, and I am not in Toronto where the majority of cases are reported. Anyhow, If you read my original post, I am inquiring because I am thinking of going to China in the near future and want to know the status of SARS in China.

Isn't this a free forum?
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe SARS is on the wane NOW, but this may partly be due to the onset of the hot season. Let's see what autumn and winter bring - possibly a recurrence!
Last year, they had an outbreak of dengue fever, which came to a temporary halt owing to winter in Hong Kong. Now, dengue fever is one of the problems in GUangdong again.

The worst areas in China currently seem to be Shanxi province and pockets in Guangdong and Hong Kong. The disease seems to have been contained, but not stemmed. No cure has been found yet. They are now laboriously experimenting with Chinese medicines. A new business line perhaps? "We invented SARS, and we invented its antidote"

Anyway, travelling is still cumbersome. I travelled to Hong Kong and Macau and back to Guangdong. In ten hours, I had to pass 4 temperature checks and fill in forms that rquired me to enter my "daytime telephone number and address".

Also, if you are to be quarantined, it comes at a heavy price, not that I know how much! But HK and Guangdong are in a spat over the question:
Who is going to foot the bill for any mainland tourist found to be infected with SARS in Hong Kong? Mainland authorities want HK to pay, but if a Hong Konger has a serious health problem on the mainland, local hospitals would rather let the patient die than accept him without him paying upfront!
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