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A Whiff Of Doom

A rash of suspected cases leads to panic all over Updates

A Whiff Of Doom
Abhijit Bhatlekar
A Whiff Of Doom
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It'll be a while before we breathe easy. Before the very real twinge of fear over SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) can be eliminated from India. Till then—as the past week proved—we are going to be a nation on tenterhooks. Unnerved by the prospect of an outbreak of the highly infectious, lethal pneumonia that has killed over 100, and presently ails nearly 2,700 people in 18 countries.

Alarm bells announcing an imminent SARS attack on India have been ringing shrill every other day. Nine deaths in Bhopal over the past two to three months were the first to be linked to SARS. The patients had all died after suffering from SARS-like symptoms—fever, cough and breathing difficulties. And an 18-year-old reportedly was still being treated in a Bhopal hospital for similar symptoms. A team from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi, was rushed to Bhopal to examine the patient. SARS was duly ruled out.

Then came a scare from Mumbai. On April 2, health officials unleashed panic by releasing information that a Cathay Pacific flight carrying a...
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