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Unmasking a World Crisis24:50
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photoToday, the World Health Organization announced a breakthrough in the SARS battle, claiming that the mystery virus is a new form of the common cold virus. The crisis has put China in the spotlight and raised concerns about how the Chinese government has responded to the international public health crisis. Actual numbers of SARS cases in China may be much higher than official figures, according to some reports.

Dr. Megan Murray, epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that the virus that causes SARS is a virus that belongs to the family of corona viruses which cause the common cold in humans. She says that the disease is transmissible within the health care facilities. However, she points out, the SARS virus is much less virulent than viruses such as the smallpox one.

Click the "Listen" link to hear more about the new mysterious SARS disease and how people in East Asia are living with its threat.

Guests:

Thomas Crampton, Asia correspondent for the International Herald Tribune

Dr. Megan Murray, Epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital

Nancy Chapman, Executive Director of the Yale-China Association

Drake Pike, American banker living in Hong Kong.

This program aired on April 16, 2003.

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