Sunday, July 24, 2005

New Mystery Illness

Many economists and politicians around the world are fretting over growing exports of China and its resulting rise in economic (and military) power. It is beginning to seem, however, that China is mass-producing more than commercial goods.
From the country that brought you SARS and avian influenza, comes a new disease.
Whatever it is, it sure appears to be deadly.
From the BBC:
Health officials in western China are urgently investigating an unidentified illness which has killed nine farmers and put 11 more in hospital... Chinese media said the farmers suffered flu-like symptoms during the early stages of the disease but later developed bleeding under the skin and went into shock. Only one patient has so far recovered, while six of the 10 still in hospital are in a critical condition. None are thought to have had contact with each other.

Am I the only one noticing a pattern?
No official announcement has yet been made.
Well there certainly is a pattern there!
All of us in the region (and considering modern air travel, 'the region' means pretty much everyone) hope this turns out to be nothing, but hoping is not enough of a defense. I hope the Centers for Disease Control the world over are all over this.

Update: The death toll is rising. Over at Peking Duck, Conrad is wondering how high the real death toll is. To paraphrase him: If 17 are acknowledged; how many are unacknowledged? Based on previous experience, that is certainly a legitimate concern.