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SARS..flying from China to Taiwan

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Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9041
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 9:30 am    Post subject: SARS..flying from China to Taiwan Reply with quote

I am currently living in China, but in August I will be moving to Taiwan. I was hoping that someone could shed some light on the SARS situation and entry requirements.

Most websites having to do with Taiwan are blocked, so I’ve no information.

I need to know how I can get a visa. Am I going to have to go to Japan? I’ve heard that you have to go to a non-infected country and stay there for ten days before entering Taiwan.

I’m also afraid that if I go to Japan, I will be refused entry into Taiwan.

Any information or advise that you have will be extremely appreciated! Thanks
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taiwan boy

Joined: 11 Feb 2003
Posts: 99
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nature girl,

hopefully by August this SARS problem will not be as big as it is now. There will be a better understanding of the disease and appropriate control measures.

At present people arriving in Taiwan from China face a ten day quarantine. Although if you spent ten days in Japan before you got to Taiwan then you wouldn't have to worry about any quarantine. There is no reason why you would be refused entry to Taiwan because you had been to Japan.

As far as visas go you can get a 30-day visa on arrival at the airport, but it is not extendable. You could also get a visa in Japan or Hong Kong.

Don't worry too much for the moment because the situation in August should be better than it is now (and if it isn't then it's probably wise not to go to Taiwan).
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Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 937
Location: fairmont city, illinois, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2003 3:13 pm    Post subject: the WHO says Reply with quote

just read where the who has put taiwan on the "only for necessity" travel list. be careful.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These proclamations that WHO make seem strange to me. Why would they suggest not going to Taiwan? How many people in Taiwan are infected? It cannot be more than an infintesimal percentage of the population. They say don't go to China, where 0.0000003% of the poulation is infected. How many people die on the roads in Taiwan each month. If it is anything like China, the figure will be hundreds of times greater than the current death rate from SARS. And having lived in Taiwan for over two years, I'd say the road fatalities would be higher, relatively speaking, than China's.

WHO should get real. You've got a hell of a lot more chance of dying in the China Air flight getting over there than dying from SARS.
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 5:44 pm    Post subject: The Danger of SARS Reply with quote

I do not think that the WHO is overeacting at all. If anything the governments around the world are underreacting.

The world has faced major outbreaks of strange diseases before. The last major respiratory disease that had anwhere near SARS killing potential was the influenza pandemic of 1918. The influenza strain of 1918 had only a 2.5% mortality rate much lower then the 5-15% of deaths that SARS causes.

How much damage can a respiratory disease that kills 2.5% do. Here is a discription of the influenza epidemic taken from

The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5% compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%. The death rate for 15 to 34-year-olds of influenza and pneumonia were 20 times higher in 1918 than in previous years (Taubenberger). People were struck with illness on the street and died rapid deaths. One anectode shared of 1918 was of four women playing bridge together late into the night. Overnight, three of the women died from influenza (Hoagg). Others told stories of people on their way to work suddenly developing the flu and dying within hours (Henig). One physician writes that patients with seemingly ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," (Grist, 1979). Another physician recalls that the influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth," (Starr, 1976). The physicians of the time were helpless against this powerful agent of influenza.

All this was due to a disease that was only a half to a fourth as deadly as SARS. The only chance to contain something like SARS is to get it early with massive quanantines and travel restrictions. That is what the WHO is trying to do.
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Yes, WHO is acting on the side of caution. As for your anology with the 1918 flu, you omit one vital piece of information. SARS is viralent, as you state, but not highly contagious. It is not airborne and can only be transmitted via direct contact with the carrier, or possibly via infected surfaces. That is why the disease has plateaued eveywhere it has developed. That is why its rate of increase cannot even be described as arithmetic. That is why we see thousands of people with SARS after five months of its first known appearance, not millions.

The current mortality risk regarding SARS for any given individual in Taiwan is incredibly small. So small that only health workers and those in places where it is known to exist should be spending any more than a reasonable amount of time thinking about it.

I live in Beijing. I work in a school with a total community of 10 000 people. Thus far we have had not a single SARS case. Is that just good luck? No. Actually it is just simple mathematics. Even in this so called SARS Central only a tiny fraction of the population is infected.

More people will get SARS, and more people will die. That is certain. But that is life. Yet there is no evidence to date to legitimise the general panic that has been exhibited by the general community. I have personally spoken to two doctors working in the field in Beijing. American doctors. They are in the highest risk category. They are not leaving Beijing, as they do not feel that the risk from SARS is great enough for them to warrent such a step.
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


You are incorrect when you state that SARS is not airborne.
SARS is a member of the coronavirus family.

The most frequent method of transmission of coronavirus is from person to person is droplet transmission.
If a sick person coughs or sneezes, the virus can be carried in saliva droplets to people nearby, infecting them.

Influenza is also transmitted in droplets as people sneeze or cough talk, transmission of both viruses is of course facilitated by close contact

That said you are correct in your statement that SARS thankfully has low infectivity. This probably means that it takes a rather large dose of the virus to get the disease. However, the infectivity of SARS is not well characterized.

Assuming a 10% fatality rate (the middle of current estimates) SARS would need an infectivity a fourth that of Influenza for it to not be worse then a disease that killed over 20 million people.

Maybe SARS infectivity is a tenth that of influenza. Even still we are talking about MILLIONS of potential fatalities if the disease is not stopped.

I am happy to hear that you have not had any SARS cases at you school, and I agree with you that panic is not justified. Panic prevents rational thought, and hampers the effort to contain diseases. However, worry and caution are justified.
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


If you drop a pig out of a tenth story window it is "airborne" for a second or two, but this does not mean that pigs can fly. Yes, SARS is transmitted via droplets, but they do not carry far. In that sense it is not airborne. You have to be close to the person to be infected.
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