Re: Dennett article on post-modernism

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri 14 Mar 2003 - 16:37:12 GMT

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    From the South China Morning Post:

    Friday, March 14, 2003 More people will get pneumonia virus, warns Health Secretary

    CHAN SIUSIN and KRISTINE KWOK Last updated at 7.40pm: The Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food warned on Friday more people would probably catch the atypical pneumonia virus in the next few days.

    Speaking at a Legislative Council special panel meeting on the disease, Yeoh Eng-kiong said signs of atypical pneumonia would only show up after a
    ''latent'' period.

    ''The 43 cases were not fully controlled, because it takes days for the signs to show. This is not yet the end of the outbreak,'' Dr Yeoh said.

    The latent period was about two to seven days, Director of Health Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun said.

    Public fears intensified after 43 medical workers showing flu-like symptoms were hospitalised. The number of patients with atypical pneumonia rose from 24 to 29 on Friday.

    Dr Yeoh said it was not known if the virus was new or an existing one with new ''behaviour''.

    Currently, they were giving antibiotics and flu-medicine to patients with atypical pneumonia, he said.

    Early findings have shown the virus was transmitted through saliva but not the air, Dr Chan said.

    ''It is through close contact with pneumonia patients - say chatting - that the medical workers caught the virus,'' she said.

    Asked if the Prince of Wales Hospital would be closed to reduce the pressure on frontline medical workers, Hospital Authority chief executive William Ho Shiu-wei said its services would be maintained.

    Dr Ho rejected criticisms that sick frontline medical workers were being forced to work. He said some were not willing to go home as they feared they could infect family members.

    ''We understand the frontline workers face huge pressure. But 'worries' should not be turned to 'panic','' Dr Ho said.

    Yeoh Eng-kiong also said there was no scientic evidence that using vinegar would cure the disease.

    Earlier on Friday, a woman was hospitalised after she boiled vinegar at home to hedge against the virus.

    Dr Yeoh said the most effective way was to wear protective masks and maintain good personal hygiene.

    Legislators voiced concerns during the meeting about the impact of the virus on tourism.

    Dr Chan said there was no sign the disease had spread to the community.

    ''Hong Kong is still safe to travel. We have not seen an obvious increase in the number of pneumonia cases this year compared with last year,'' she said.

    Dr Chan said the number of pneumonia cases this year and last year were about the same - around 1,500 to 2,000 cases a month.

    She agreed to provide more information to tourists - such as location of hospitals and protective measures against the disease.

    In other developments, Taiwan's Department of Health on Friday said a Taiwanese businessman contracted atyptical pneumonia after visiting Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

    The department said the man visited Guangdong and the SAR at the end of February. He developed fever and was admitted to hospital in Taiwan on March 6. His wife also developed pneumonia a week later.

    Taiwanese media reported that the man was in serious condition.

    Taiwan's Health Department on Friday issued a warning against unnecessary travel to Hong Kong and Guangdong.

    Singapore's Health Ministry has also warned people about visiting the SAR.

    ''As a precautionary measure, the ministry advises you to avoid travel to Hong Kong, Hanoi and Guangdong province in China for the time being, unless absolutely necessary,'' the ministry said in a statement.


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