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#16564 - 04/25/03 04:02 PM SARS and nationalities
Diane Campbell Offline
The Government of Belize faced a very difficult decision when imposing visa/travel restrictions related to SARS. I don't envy the individuals who were given the task of coming up with a plan.

This ban affects the local population in many ways, and is not restricted to empty beds in hotels.

People from India and other parts of Asia are a very important part of the population of Belize. There are are thousands of Belizeans who are of East Indian and Asian decent (many many more than those of US or Canadian origins). Many of them are immigrants, and for them the thought of a relative not being able to come "home to Belize" or travel abroad to visit an elderly relative is a very serious concern.

Tourism is obviously a very important part of the Belizean economy. Banning entry to any large number of holiday travelers is a difficult thing - but far worse would be seeing our population infected by SARS and having ALL travel to the country cease as a result.

With SARS, a 10-day incubation period (and probably a shorter infectious period)means that the virus needs to travel fast in order to spread. Under these conditions, it is more likely that affluent/frequent world travelers will be the ones carrying the disease to new places. Remember AIDS - "Patient Zero" was a flight attendant from Quebec.

With visions of good health to all ........

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#16565 - 04/25/03 04:48 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Miss Anthropy Offline
Diane, it is inflamatory to invoke the dreaded AIDS scenario in reference to this SARS situation. They have not even developed a diagnostic test for this so-called singular coronavirus. Many people with regular flu or even colds are being quarantined out of FEAR, not science. I realize you intend to inform people, but even mild fearmongering is really not the answer.

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#16566 - 04/25/03 05:05 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Chloe Offline
Diane, your take on things are always appreciated by many of us. You do have a good understanding of things in general, and how those things apply to Belize/Ambergris. Thank you for posting.
_________________________
Dare To Deviate

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#16567 - 04/25/03 05:18 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Miss Anthropy Offline
Please don't get me wrong Chloe or Diane, I too appreciate Diane sharing her experience and information with us, she certainly has been around for a while and knows Belize as well as any Gringo can. I would just hate to see Belize's economy and tourist industry needlessly suffer from all of this SARS stuff. Canada is really suffering now. And who will be next based upon something that has not even been scientifically proven? I just ask that we all take the responsibility to check out all of the facts, governments included, before making sweeping determinations about something that has the ability to ruin major industries and economies in every country (airline, tourism, personal freedom to travel to see family, commerce generally).

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#16568 - 04/25/03 05:38 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Miss Anthropy Offline
This link seems to have an abundance of information including local media coverage and some credible medical and governmental personnel's reports. www.sarstravel.com.
Maybe the more we a look into this the better chance we have to inform each other about this important situation.

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#16569 - 04/25/03 08:58 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Diane Campbell Offline
Sorry if my reference to AIDS was interpreted as an attempt to scare/panic. I lived for over a decade in the heart of the AIDS epidemic in California. I knowingly hired folks with the condtion, and lived closely with people who both lived and died with AIDS. I'm so used to it I don't see the name and feel frightened, and I overlooked that others do not share that view.
Indeed - education and information are the beginning of good heath and disease prevention.
Patient Zero was noted only because it was a fascinating study, and one that was able to take a big epidemic and trace it back to a local vector. In the case of Patient Zero, some of the lessons were that affluence does not provide an invisible shield, and that disease prevention is everbodys job.

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#16570 - 04/25/03 09:10 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
seashell Offline
I thought I read the other day that they've identified the person they believe to have been patient zero in the SARS situation as well.
Quite amazing really.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#16571 - 04/25/03 10:10 PM Re: SARS and nationalities
Miss Anthropy Offline
Seashell, I think that link i referenced has a couple of reports about the patient zero.

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#16572 - 04/26/03 03:41 AM Re: SARS and nationalities
Chris Offline
Let me see....China, the country with by far the most cases of SARS, and India, curiously a country with hardly any, (but both on Belize's "banned" list) have a combined population of about 2.3 Billion. Belize has about 300,000. Worldwide there have been a little less (as of 1 hour ago) than 5000 cases of SARS. About 6% have died. Using those same proportions, Belize would have to have just 0.8 of a case of SARS to be as infected as China and India combined even giving them "credit" for every worldwide case of the disease.

So, by the Government of Belize's strange and wobbly accounting standards, if Belize gets its first FULL case of SARS - rather than our imaginary fraction of a case - stand by for ALL other countries to ban travel to Belize because we will then be the most infected country on the planet based on population and infected percentage.

My take on SARS: there have been MUCH worse Flu epidemics than this....outbreaks that have killed tens of thousands. Yes, SARS a nasty thing, but the level of panic is outrageous when one considers that during the period that SARS has claimed its approximately 300 fatalities (mostly the old and frail) THOUSANDS worldwise will have died from AIDS, tobacco, drugs, heart disease, cancer, motor vehicle accidents etc. etc, and MANY of those will have been young people who thought their whole lives were ahead of them.

You don't see the WHO or Government of Belize telling people they shouldn't drive, do you?

Come to think of it, we are used to "strange and wobbly" accounting from our elected officials here in Belize!

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#16573 - 04/26/03 08:06 AM Re: SARS and nationalities
Short Offline
Yes and no;

Yes, there is a new virus of which the cases are relatively few, and yes our government wants to play too badly an international roll to show off nationally, and yes, it is probably too early to come to conclusions, but....

I am impressed with the way the world reacts to a lethal virus in such an early stage. Remember the Spanish flew, early 20th century which wiped out one quarter of the world population? Think about the king who wanted to reward the inventor of the chess board: 1 grain on the first square, 2 on the second, 4 on the third...... 9,223,372,036,854,780,000 on the 64th.

Short
_________________________
Live and let live

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