* SARS – FROM OUT OF
* MEDICAL FACTS ON
* SARS IS COSTING
* THE RACE AGAINST THE
* THE BATTLE AGAINST
* AN EPIDEMIC OF FEAR
* GOD IS WARNING THE
* WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO
HIS PEOPLE TODAY?
S A R S
SEVERE ACUTE RESPIRATORY SYNDROME
The new pneumonia-like,
“And there will be mighty
and violent earthquakes in various places . . .
malignant, contagious or infectious diseases,
(Y’shua the Messiah -
FROM OUT OF CHINA !
SARS HOSPITAL IN CHINA
From its early
days, the medics recognised that
this was not another form of Asian Influenza, nor was it the usual pneumonia,
although it resembled both. This was a brand new, mysterious and highly
contagious respiratory disease that could potentially produce an enormous
worldwide epidemic reminiscent of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19 that
killed more than 20 million people.
Faced with the alarming new epidemic,
medical scientists around the world marshaled in a hi-tech attempt to contain
SARS, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that first struck in the southern
Chinese province of Guangdong, in mid-November 2002. By early February, the
number of cases there were only 300, and only five people had died.
On Feb 21, a doctor from Guangdong visited
neighboring Hong Kong and stayed at a hotel. He infected six people before he
himself died on March 4.
On Feb 26, doctors in Hong Kong reported
the first case of “atypical pneumonia.” Afterwards they identified the cause of
the illness as being a previously unknown virus from the family of corona
viruses. The new disease became known as SARS.
On March 12 the World Health Organisation
gave its first global alert on SARS, as the virus took wings and rapidly spread
to several other countries.
The BBC quoted a WHO official as saying:
“The personal risk to any particular individual is minimal, but the risk to the
public health system from this disease is enormous.” WHO has dismissed criticism
that it has exaggerated the threat posed by SARS.
By mid-April the epidemic in China had
moved to the capital, Beijing, and had spread to at least 13 provinces. By the
end of April, SARS had spread to 30 countries, with almost 6000 cases, and 400
The potentially devastating epidemic began
to terrify the world, creating panic, particularly in the Asian region, where
there was fear of a new
Asian economic crisis.
THE CHINESE LEADERS’ NIGHTMARE
China’s leaders are worried! Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao, whose government is grappling with its first big crisis
since taking office in March, said China would control the spread of SARS and
welcomed visitors. But few are likely to heed the assurance.
Fearful of a long-term impact on Asia’s
fastest growing economy, Wen Jiabao, and Communist Party boss and President Hu
Jintao, appeared in major hospitals and met doctors on the front lines of the
battle against SARS.
Foreign health experts in Beijing believe
many cases there have gone unreported.
Throughout China, people are both scared
and angry at the new disease in their midst.
THE CHINESE COVERUP
The World Health Organisation had a tough
time getting accurate information on the epidemic in China as several
authorities had covered up the extent of the SARS situation.
A Beijing military doctor blew the whistle
when he criticized the health minister for covering up the number of SARS cases.
He said there were at least 140 cases in military hospitals in the capital
When the under-reporting was exposed and
became obvious, President Hu Jintao, ordered his officials to quit covering up.
Beijing took action against its health
minister as the government owned up to hundreds of new cases of the virus. The
minister, Zhang Wenkang, as well as Beijing Mayor Meng Xuenong, were removed
from their top Communist Party posts.
China then started a highly publicized
battle to halt the spread of SARS. Premier Jiabao called on “the whole nation”
to “work closely together to
win this fierce battle,”
and ordered a campaign to scrub down airplanes, trains, buses, trucks, taxis and
office blocks to kill the virus.
The Health Ministry now reports cases
daily to WHO. But skepticism remains, and there is suspicion that the epidemic
is still being under-reported.
THE BATTLE OF BEIJING
The shocking fact is that SARS has struck
right under the nose of the Communist Party’s administration – Beijing, the
capital of the nation.
Earlier Beijing’s authorities had admitted
to only 37 SARS cases in the city. But after international pressure on China to
get real, officials announced that there were closer to 700 confirmed or
suspected cases in the capital.
By the last week of April Beijing reported
1,448 SARS cases in the city alone, and
100 new cases every day.
Posters have been plastered around city
streets and subways calling on people to wash their hands after wiping their
noses, to drink and smoke less, and to keep face masks handy.
The government cancelled the week-long May
Day holiday, fearing the movement of tens of millions of people could further
spread the virus.
The cancellation of China’s national
“golden week,” which was due to start on 1 May, meant forfeiting a huge boost in
consumer spending. During the holiday, students usually return home, migrant
workers go back to their villages, and the new middle classes go on tourist
Officials have announced plans to
crackdown on profiteering in areas hit by the virus. It follows reports of sharp
rises in the price of medical drugs and equipment, herbal remedies and basic
foods in some regions.
The city raised the fine for spitting in
public - a means of SARS transmission - to 50 yuan, ($US6) - a big jump.
Teams of workers in masks and rubber
gloves could be seen spraying down planes, buses, trains and transport
Police sealed off the 1,200-bed People’s
Hospital of Beijing University because of multiple SARS infections. People were
isolated and quarantined if they had been in contact with someone even suspected
of having SARS.
In an effort to halt the escalating
crisis, Beijing shut down “all entertainment businesses involving mass public
gatherings” - cinemas, theatres, gyms, swimming pools and restaurants and
Likewise all the capital’s schools were
closed for two weeks. After the two weeks, the closure was extended for at
least another two weeks. The move affected more than 1.7 million children.
Exams for primary and secondary school pupils were postponed indefinitely.
Streets were largely deserted. The few
people who ventured out of their homes wore masks. There was panic buying, and
thousands of people took trains and planes out of Beijing.
At a cathedral, a sign in English pasted
on the door said mass was suspended for one month due to city rules requiring
that “all congregations greater than 50 be canceled.” An accompanying sign, in
Chinese only, said that services were canceled “to ensure the health of
parishioners and clergy.”
Chinese authorities began installing
thermal imaging equipment to check the temperatures of travelers moving across
the southern border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
China has begun implementing draconian
quarantine measures in an effort to curb the spread of the pneumonia-like
epidemic. Whole villages, as well as hospitals, have been sealed off.
Beijing is a city under siege. At one
time, around 16,000 of the city’s population were officially in quarantine, but
13 million people were under a virtual quarantine,
according to a correspondent in Beijing.
Leaving the city has now becoming
increasingly difficult, as flights to other areas have been cancelled and
May 15. China has threatened to execute or
jail for life anyone who breaks SARS quarantine orders and spreads the virus
The Supreme Court and China’s lead
prosecutor set out the punishments in an interpretation of existing laws which
regulate the containment of sudden disease outbreaks and the response to
Prophecy, China’s official news agency said.
THE RIGHTNESS OF QUARANTINE
The Chinese authorities are belatedly
taking the right actions. All my readers are aware, I am sure, of the necessity
for quarantine to stem plagues. Although it may seem harsh for a time, it is a
Biblical principle - from the time of Moses.
Leprosy was such a severe infectious
disease, than any person with suspicious red spots on the skin needed to be
isolated for seven or fourteen days. If it was found to be non-leprous, the
person would be able to return to his home. If it proved to be Leprosy, he was
to be permanently isolated – for there was no cure at that time.
“If the bright spot is white on the skin
of his body, and it does not appear to be deeper than the skin, and the
hair on it has not turned white, then the priest shall isolate him who has
the infection for seven days. The priest shall look at him on the seventh day,
and if in his eyes the infection has not changed and the infection has not
spread on the skin, then the priest shall isolate him for seven more days.”
“As for the leper who has the infection,
his clothes shall be torn, and his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover
his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall remain unclean all the days
during which he has the infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his
dwelling shall be outside the camp.”
PROTECTING CHINA'S WATER
Chinese authorities have blocked access to
all reservoirs in Beijing, in an attempt to prevent the virus reaching the
public water supply. Swimming, fishing and boating on the reservoirs have been
banned, adding to the list of activities already forbidden under Beijing’s
stringent SARS prevention measures.
The chances that SARS could spread through
drinking water are small, but the closure of Beijing’s reservoirs shows that no
one in the city is taking any chances.
RAPID SPREAD THROUGHOUT CHINA
SARS has now spread to at least 13
provinces in China, and the strict anti-SARS measures in China’s capital are now
being taken up in these provinces.
Shanxi, a poor province in the north, was
one of the first to report SARS in travelers from Guangdong. It saw an alarming
increase of cases since March, with the capital, Taiyuan, reporting more than
300 in April. All schools were closed until further notice.
The provinces of Guangdong, Hunan,
Guangxi, Sichuan, Fujian, and Inner Mongolia are some of the other provinces
RURAL CHINA MAY BE UNABLE TO
The World Health Organization says SARS
will be hard to track in inland China, where the health system receives one
fifth of government spending but serves 70 percent of the population.
WHO added Beijing and Shanxi to Guangdong,
to the list of places it had advised travelers to avoid, and also sounded an
alert about the situation in China’s second city, Shanghai. Dr Wolfgang Peiser,
while visiting the city, said he believed there were tens of SARS cases there,
rather than the two officially confirmed cases.
China’s communist leaders have warned
local officials not to try to hide SARS cases. But correspondents say the number
of infections in China may never be known.
People in China’s poor provinces tend not
to visit the doctor because it is too expensive, or because there is
Health experts say the virus may therefore never be fully eradicated.
Although the Chinese government is now
opening up and cooperating with international officials to control its outbreak
of SARS, the World Health Organization has concerns that some of China’s
provinces might not be equipped to deal with the disease.
WHO is working closely with the government
to see how it can support China in dealing with the epidemic. A WHO official
said, “If China is not dealing with SARS, it will be very problematic to deal
The main areas of concern are the “poorer
provinces,” because they have fewer resources and “the public health system has
collapsed over the last 20 years” because the government has not adequately
funded it, the WHO official said. China’s poorer areas are its 12 western
The government has said it is sending
teams to all the provinces to help them deal with SARS, and the government has
authorized the hiring of 2,500 people to monitor those infected and trace their
HONG KONG DEVASTATED
After mainland China, SARS next slugged
Hong Kong, a crowded city of seven million where the health system came under
The major outbreak of the disease was in
Kowloon, where 15,000 people live in Amoy Gardens, a 19-block high-rise
apartment complex. In less than a week, 250 people contracted the disease.
Up to a quarter of those infected were
medical staff, and the government was trying to hire doctors and nurses from the
Hong Kong Hospital Authority chairman
Leong Chehung, speaking of a worst-case scenario, told local television that
health officials were preparing for up to 3,000 cases. He believed there would
be sufficient manpower and facilities although intensive care units would be
under pressure. (Hong Kong cases hit over 1600 by end of April 03.) Schools in
Hong Kong were closed for six weeks.
SINGAPORE BATTLES THE PLAGUE
Singapore was soon battling to control
SARS, seeking to prevent it spreading in the city state’s main hospital.
At least 100 of the first SARS cases in
Singapore were linked to a woman who went to Hong Kong to shop, and came home
carrying the deadly flu-like virus.
A doctor at Singapore General Hospital was
confirmed to be infected, raising fears of a crack in the government’s strategy
of isolating infected people. Twenty nurses at the hospital were also suspected
of having SARS and were isolated.
The outbreak came after the government
imposed sweeping control measures by placing more than 1,000 people under home
quarantine, and closed schools.
Phone lines at Singapore General Hospital
went down briefly as panicked residents flooded the switchboard checking on
Singapore’s Prime Minister spoke of
another victim — the economy.
Goh Chok Tong said the nation’s target of 2 to 5 percent economic growth this
year would be revised down because of SARS. Goh canceled a trip to China because
of fears over SARS.
Singapore quarantined 2,400 workers and
closed its largest wholesale vegetable market for 10 days after an employee was
diagnosed with SARS.
Singapore said it would close dozens of
food markets and ban visits to public hospitals as a measure to contain the
epidemic. And authorities threatened to jail anyone who violated SARS quarantine
Singapore announced a 70% fall in visitor
arrivals in the second week of April.
TAIWAN, THAILAND and VIETNAM
moved about 480 health workers to a military barracks after the Taipei Municipal
Ho Ping Hospital was sealed due to the discovery of SARS.
More than 1,100 patients, doctors, nurses
and visitors were put under quarantine after scores had been infected with
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Many of those who were quarantined for up to
two weeks, were furious and held placards to protest against their isolation.
After its first SARS death, Taiwan imposed
a mandatory 10-day quarantine on travelers from areas affected by the virus -
including mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Toronto - but it did
not announce where the travelers would stay while quarantined.
Those violating the quarantine, including
foreigners, can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $8,600, Premier Yu
Shyi-kun said. With the strong measures, Taiwan hoped to contain SARS, but by
mid May cases had soared to 238, and 31 people had died.
required anyone entering the country from an infected zone, to wear a face mask.
had 64 cases and five deaths. One individual was so contagious that he passed
the virus on to at least 30 health care workers.
TORONTO’S HEALTH-CARE CRIPPLED
reported 23 deaths, and possibly 300 infections. Up till the time of this
report, Canada is the only country outside Asia where people have died of SARS.
The SARS outbreak that had crippled
Toronto’s health-care system could be on the verge of breaking out in an
uncontrolled fashion, infectious disease experts warned.
While Ontario public health officials
leading the fight against SARS warned that the battle has reached a critical
stage, but the doctors who advise them were ready to spell out the threat in
more graphic and frightening terms.
“You don’t want to cause panic, but it’s a
tough time, and what we’ve seen is unprecedented,” said Dr. Donald Low,
microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. “None of us has the experience to say
when to stop worrying.”
While public health officials have
insisted the outbreak is still under control, they are now considering
electronic tracking bracelets for people who break quarantine rules.
“People are very, very frightened of this
and it’s going to get worse,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, an infectious disease
expert who is herself in hospital recovering from SARS.
At a news conference yesterday, provincial
health officials said they are considering tough monitoring measures like
electronic tracking bracelets to enforce quarantines.
Public health staff have kept a “strong
surveillance” on individuals suspected of straying — including one who is under
police guard at an undisclosed hospital — through phone calls, door-to-door
visits and, in some cases, by hiring private security investigators to check up
on potential quarantine breakers.
Since the outbreak was detected in Toronto
in mid-March, some 10,000 Ontarians have been under quarantine and today about
1,500 people remain in home isolation.
Toronto’s Catholic leadership has
instructed churches to amend practices, such as taking Communion wine from a
communal cup and shaking hands during Mass. The Anglican diocese of Toronto has
also announced sharing of Communion wine would be suspended.
As the first cases turned up in Mumbai, Pune and Calcutta, fear began to grip
the nation. To make the scare worse, pilots of Air India refused to fly if there
were any staff on board who had been into the SARS-affected Asian countries.
added the virus to a list of diseases requiring quarantine, ranking the illness
as dangerous as cholera and smallpox, and switched tourism promotion to
Police in Australia have been given new
powers to round up and quarantine suspected SARS victims. Asian students
returning to Australia from SARS-affected Asian countries were told to stay in
home quarantine for 10 days.
home to Islam’s holiest sites, has stopped issuing pilgrimage visas to many East
Asian countries because of SARS fears.
SARS: number of deaths
(UP TO jULY 31, 2003)
in ten countries
China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Singapore, Canada,
Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Africa
Number of SARS cases worldwide
+ in 34 countries
Kong Singapore Taiwan Vietnam India
Mongolia Malaysia Indonesia Japan Philippines
Korea Kuwait Canada USA Italy
Germany France Sweden Bulgaria Switzerland
Ireland Spain Romania Australia New Zealand
Colombia Finland South Africa
MEDICAL FACTS ON SARS
CAUSATIVE AGENT -
World Health Organization has formally
identified the viral source of Severe Acute respiratory Syndrome – a mutation of
It took scientists eight days to identify
the virus that causes SARS. (It took three years to identify HIV, the pathogen
that causes AIDS.)
Corona-viruses often infect animals, but
normally do not cause anything more serious than the common cold, in humans. WHO
scientists went early to Guangdong to try to trace the origins of the virus.
They conducted studies on corona- viruses in animal populations for clues
concerning the possibility that SARS might be the result of a virus transmission
from animal to human; possibly a leap from pigs or poultry to humans.
WHO confirmed that a new form of the
corona-virus that has leapt from animals to humans is the culprit behind the
global SARS outbreak. (In SARS-stricken Amoy Gardens, Kowloon, a cat also tested
positive for the corona virus.
The announcement paves the way for vaccine
and treatment research. In experiments at Erasmus University in Rotterdam,
Netherlands, scientists infected monkeys with the corona-virus suspected of
causing SARS and found that the animals developed the same symptoms as humans.
SYMPTOMS OF SARS
* High fever of greater than 100.4° F,
and may include headaches, aches, chills and breathing difficulties.
* About 10 percent get diarrhoea (in
Hong Kong it was up to 66%).
* About 25 percent of victims develop
pneumonia - the rest suffer only fever and cold symptoms, and mild respiratory
* After two to seven days, SARS patients
may develop a dry cough and have trouble breathing.
HOW IS IT SPREAD?
SARS appears to be spread by close
contact, but to what extent it is spread in the air, is currently unknown. The
known symptoms include body aches, slight temperature spikes, headaches and
coughs. Within two days the symptoms become worse, which prompts those with the
symptoms to eventually go to the hospital.
Scientists believe that the current strain
is transmitted primarily through droplets coughed out of the lungs, but it can
also be spread through touch, infected surfaces, and quite likely by rats,
cockroaches, and flies.
An expert has warned that infection could
be spread, not only through coughs and sneezes, but also through faeces and
sewage. This raises the possibility of an outbreak being transmitted through
tainted water supplies or contaminated food.
Doctors are mainly relying on a
combination of antivirals such as ribavirin, immuno-suppressant steroids, and a
serum containing antibodies taken from recovered SARS patients.
Treatment now used in Hong Kong - a mix of
anti-viral drugs and steroids - has seen good response in 80 to 90 percent of
Scientific teams are racing to produce a
vaccine against the new strain, but have warned that this may take years,
especially as the SARS virus is constantly changing form. Experts say that even
when it is developed, a vaccine may offer only limited and temporary protection.
Doctors hope that the virus will lose its
potency as it is passed on second- or third-hand, and that the community in
general will develop immunity to the disease.
THE FATALITY RATE
Earlier it was said the disease had a
mortality rate of about 4 to 6 percent, roughly the same as Measles. But the
death rate could be significantly higher, according to a British expert’s
research. Professor Roy Anderson says the virus could kill between 8% and 15%
According to Prof Anderson media
speculation about SARS had exaggerated the problem facing the world. He said the
higher mortality rate was not the most import-ant issue, as many other health
factors could influence a patient’s death. “Although SARS may still be in its
early stages, its infection rate and death toll so far is very small in
comparison to other 20th century viral pandemics.”
(In 1918, the unusually virulent Spanish
Flu killed at least 20 million worldwide.)
“If SARS was a highly transmissible agent
that was spreading like wildfire around the world, then of course there
would be huge cause for concern, but it is not,” Anderson said. “The concerns
lie in the large populous regions of the world: Asia.”
SIGNS OF HOPE
It appears that the epidemic is being
contained in developed countries through very good containment and monitoring
Officials have taken comfort that SARS has
not spread as easily as other viruses, such as influenza. By comparison, tens
of thousands die every year in the United States alone from various strains of
Common pneumonia kills at a much higher
rate than SARS - up to 50 per cent when it is spread amongst the ill or elderly
at hospitals. Most victims have a good chance of recovery.
SARS VIRUS MUTATING RAPIDLY
NOW ATTACKING INTESTINES AND
Every virus is capable of mutating.
Although the virus contains a large amount of genetic information, every time it
is “replicated” inside a cell, tiny genetic “mistakes” are made. Some of these
may harm the success of a virus, or may leave it unchanged - or on the other
hand, make it better at infecting and replicating in humans.
Natural selection means the “mistakes”
that end up benefiting the virus, will lead to the creation of strains that are
more virulent, or more easily transmitted from human to human.
The Beijing Genomics Institute reported
that the virus is “expected to mutate very fast and very easily.” Other experts
have warned that, once established, it could be particularly hard to stop SARS
Scientists say the SARS virus is
constantly changing form which will make developing a vaccine difficult.
According to a leading Hong Kong
microbiologist, SARS is now attacking the intestines as well as the respiratory
system. The change indicates the virus has mutated as many experts feared.
Initially patients were suffering with just respiratory failure, but kidneys and
other organ failures have now become common in SARS victims.
An increasing number of those infected
with SARS are suffering from diarrhoea. As many as two thirds of the residents
who contracted SARS in the outbreak at the Amoy Gardens had diarrhoea.
NEW FINDINGS ON SPREAD OF SARS
5 May 03. The latest WHO report says that
although coughing and sneezing remain the chief means of spreading the
infection, the virus can stay alive for at least four days in diarrhoea or
sewage. Faeces may be a more important means of spreading the SARS virus than
One study found that the SARS virus can
live for up to 24 hours on any surface.
Japanese researchers had found that the
SARS virus had so far stayed alive for four days in cells on plastic surfaces at
a temperature of 40 degrees F. This is fridge temperature, so the virus can
survive four days in a refrigerator.
The virus was also tested at minus 112
degrees for four days and it was unaffected. But this was no surprise be-cause
many viruses survive easily in cold temperatures.
The SARS virus can not only survive
winter. It thrives in winter months!
Research has added weight to the theory
that leaky sewage pipes were the source of infection in a particularly severe
outbreak at the Hong Kong apartment complex, where more than 300 people became
Hong Kong University scientists confirmed
that common disinfectants such as formaldehyde, ethanol and acetone can kill the
virus in five minutes. Disinfecting toilets in hospitals and homes where people
have had contact with SARS helps to solve the problem.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
SARS IS COSTING
The biggest impact of the SARS pandemic
may not be from massive
deaths but the social trauma, disruption, and economic consequences, including
the cost of containment measures.
The virus has spread across the globe
causing panic, and affecting the way people think and plan. The cause of SARS
is still not clearly understood. Many theories abound: that it is a mutated cold
virus; that it is a bio-terror weapon in the making; or that it is a
In the United States fears are that the
disease may spread like wildfire there just as it has throughout Asia. The grim
economic toll has rippled through the region.
Analysts are comparing the potential
effect of SARS to the devastating Asian financial crisis of 1997, as world
economists warn the virus will have a major impact on economic growth rates in
The global economic consequences, are
already estimated at $50 billion.
Many Asian-Pacific countries, including
Australia, report falls in tourism. And with airlines canceling flights,
tourists staying at home, and shops and restaurants empty in SARS hot spots like
Hong Kong and Singapore, Asian governments are facing their greatest challenge
since the 1997-1998 regional economic crisis.
The most severe impact is on China’s
economy. Many United States firms such as Dell, Coca-Cola, Shell, and Nike are
refusing to go into the country for fear of contracting the virus.
60,000 restaurant and hotel workers have either lost their jobs or are on unpaid
leave. Unions say the jobless rate may hit eight percent.
The IMF said
rapid economic growth would be
curbed by the spread of SARS, but not as severely as Hong Kong and Singapore.
with the world’s fourth-highest number of cases and at least 27 deaths, backed
temporary wage cuts and shorter work weeks for the tourist sector.
has been warned by the International Labor
Organisation that it will shed 227,000 tourist-related jobs this year.
China, Hong Kong,
face losing 30% of their
travel and tourism employment.
Warnings have been issued by many
countries against non-essential travel to SARS-affected countries; and scheduled
forums, sports events, and other big programs have been cancelled.
Airlines are reeling because of the fear
of SARS, and many have been compelled to slash flights to affected countries.
Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific saysit has cut 45% of its flights. The
airline has seen its reservations plunge by 75% in the last 12 months.
Although there were five cases of SARS on
planes – out of millions of passengers – and all cases occurred early in the
crisis before screening procedures began, many people have cut back on their
travel to places like China and Hong Kong. There is still fear of contracting
SARS on planes, or in transit lounges.
TV footage of passengers going in or out
of airports and having instruments put into their ears to take their
temperatures, help to increase the fears of travelling.
THE RACE AGAINST THE
The following item has been submitted by
Mark, Endtime News. It not only gives information about the war on SARS, but it
is a good example of how the prophecy of Daniel, about
is being fulfilled today:
“Many will run back and
forth, and knowledge will increase.”
7 April 03. In the three weeks after the
World Health Organization first declared a mysterious new respiratory disease
from Asia was a “worldwide health threat,” SARS spread across the globe with
alarming speed, infecting several thousand people on four continents.
No less astonishing was the speed with
which hundreds of scientists in a dozen countries scrambled - aided by networked
“virtual laboratories” and Internet-based “grand rounds” - to mount a
counter-offensive against the emerging disease.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the global collaboration had
already “produced unprecedented scientific and epidemiological discoveries with
unprecedented speed,” including the identity of a prime suspect - a previously
“The race is on,” she said. “The stakes
are high, and the outcome cannot be predicted. If the virus moves faster than
our scientific, communications and control capacities, we could be in for a
long, difficult race.”
The virus may have a head start. The agent
blamed for SARS is thought to have spread in southern China for several months
before it was recognized. Hurrying to catch up, at least 10 teams of more than
250 experts from the CDC have been working around the clock to help contain the
outbreak, determine how it spreads, develop ways to detect it and find out how
to combat it. Worldwide, hundreds of other doctors and public health officials
are wrestling with the same problems.
Tests on the virus have been limited to
eight labs, including the CDC, that have P-3 facilities, a level of biological
containment used for all but the most infectious microbes. With so many people
involved and such an urgent mission, technology has enabled far-flung
laboratories to coordinate and share information almost instantaneously.
“It has been remarkable,” says Dr. Steven
Ostroff, deputy director for the CDC’s National Center for Infectious Disease.
“We can now share an image of the virus under an electron microscope with almost
anyone who needs it. And instead of physically packing and shipping tissue
samples, we can get and receive test results electronically.”
Major achievements from the global effort
so far include:
Tentative identification of the virus
responsible for SARS. At least eight labs have found evidence of a previously
unknown corona-virus in SARS patients. While it is possible that more than one
agent causes SARS, the CDC says the “preponderance of evidence” implicates the
corona-virus, a family of viruses that cause many common colds.
Development of two antibody tests that will enable health officials to
definitively tell which patients with severe respiratory illness have been
infected by the suspect corona-virus. Until now, cases have been diagnosed on
the basis of general symptoms common to many respiratory ailments: high fever,
dry cough, aches and pains. Because the new test, expected to be available
before end of April, detects a patient’s immune response to the suspect virus,
some cases of what is thought to be SARS may be eliminated.
Authorities have already shared what they know about the virus with
pharmaceutical companies so they can begin research on a vaccine. As that effort
proceeds, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Army’s Medical Research
Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., also are screening
hundreds of drugs potentially useful in treating SARS.
Sequencing of the virus’s genetic
material, a step that will provide a blueprint of its genetic makeup, is
(15 April. U.S. and Canadian scientists
said they had independently mapped the genome of the new virus blamed for
causing SARS, raising hopes a test could be developed so treatment can be given
as soon as possible.)
“We’re working as hard as we can to get to
the bottom of the problem and get it under control,” said Dr. James Hughes,
director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases. “We still don’t know
the original source of this virus, but the sequence of the virus will tell us
Old bug, new trick
The subject of this global scrutiny is a
member of a family of viruses whose dozen or so known species, until now, were
thought to cause severe disease only in cattle, pigs, rodents, cats, dogs and
birds. Until last month, corona-viruses — named for the distinctive halo of
appendages in their outer envelope — have been linked in humans only to mild
respiratory infections, primarily the common cold.
Viruses, so biologically primitive that
they cannot reproduce on their own outside a living cell, have been called “a
piece of bad news wrapped in a protein.” Of the millions that probably exist,
only 1,000 or so are known, and even fewer have been linked to human disease.
Primitive though they may be, viruses have
one advantage over higher life forms. They reproduce at a prodigious rate. And
the swift emergence of each new generation provides ample opportunity for
mutations that endow old bugs with new tricks.
Researchers now fear that may be what
happened to the corona-virus in November in southern China. The outbreak went
virtually unnoticed until mid-February.
On Feb. 11, 03, the Chinese Ministry of
Health advised the World Health Organization in Geneva of an outbreak of
“atypical pneumonia” in southern China. Public health experts say the delay not
only underscores the need for more candor by Chinese authorities but for faster
reporting of emerging diseases.
Because flu researchers around the world
had been anticipating the seasonal emergence of a new flu strain in Asia, they
assumed the first SARS cases - and reports of a new bird flu virus called H5N1
that had been attacking people -marked the start of a new influenza cycle.
A SHIFT TO HIGH GEAR
On Feb. 21, 03, however, the complexion of
the crisis changed when a man infected with SARS traveled from Guangdong to Hong
Kong to visit his family and took a room on the ninth floor of the Metropole
From that point, the race between the
virus and its adversaries shifted into high gear. Within weeks, as cases of
severe pneumonia mounted rapidly in Hong Kong, genetic tests of patients’ blood
made it clear this was no flu bug.
As reports of similar illnesses in
Vietnam, Taiwan and Canada trickled in, it was also clear the virus was adept at
international travel. Impoverished areas of Asia have served as efficient
incubators for emergent diseases before.
“This is a classic example of an East
Side, West Side situation,” says Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg, a Rockefeller
“You have a less than perfect health care
system, and people and animals living side by side under crowded conditions -
all within reach of a major international airport. It’s perfect for the global
spread of a disease.”
Certain by March 14 that this wasn’t the
flu, WHO assembled a network of 12 labs in 10 countries. The CDC activated its
new emergency operations center in Atlanta to lend support and sent field teams
to investigate SARS clusters in several countries.
On March 15, while most of the world was
anxiously watching the march toward war in Iraq, WHO began warning doctors and
travelers that SARS was a global threat. But what was causing it?
By March 18, a Hong Kong hospital and a
German research lab were reporting that the infectious agent appeared to be a
paramyxovirus, one of a group of viral pathogens that cause measles, mumps and
canine distemper. By the next day, another Hong Kong lab was reporting that the
principal suspect was more likely a corona virus.
On March 22, as the number of SARS cases
worldwide reached 360 - 22 of them in the United States - the CDC rushed a
culture of infected tissue to Joseph DeRisi at the University of California, San
Francisco, for analysis.
DeRisi’s laboratory, opened only in
January, used a revolutionary new microchip array - a catalog of more than 1,000
known viruses etched into a computer chip - to compare the mystery virus to
Within 24 hours, DeRisi had found a
previously unknown corona virus. The CDC confirmed his findings the next day.
Hard work lies ahead. The corona-virus may
be only one of a number of agents causing SARS. (Any of 100 assorted viruses can
cause what most people call a “common” cold.)
To prove a corona-virus is the culprit,
researchers must satisfy three key tests. The virus has to be found in the
tissue it destroyed, in this case the lower lungs. It must be grown in a culture
outside its host. And it must be shown to be capable of infecting healthy
For the global network and technology
assembled to deal swiftly with SARS, the current crisis is also a test of
POSTSCRIPT: in November
2003, Chinese researchers were ready to begin, in December, human trials on an
experimental SARS vaccine that injects the dead virus into medical subjects so
their immune systems can recognize it and hopefully attack it, a government drug
official. - AP / 24 Nov 03
THE BATTLE AGAINST the
Mankind has been in a battle against bugs
since the Fall; that is, the day when sin entered the world through Adam and
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world
through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all men, because all
Throughout the millennia, generations of
men have lived in fear of epidemics. Some of the plagues of the past have been
beyond our imagination. These include:
The Plague of Athens. The disease and death toll is unknown, but it ended the
Athenian rise as a world power.
The Anronine Smallpox Plague
left 5 million in the Roman Empire dead.
The Justinian Plagues in
Constantinople was the first outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe, and killed
one third of the population of the eastern Mediterranean.
Bubonic Plague, along with civil war, halved the population in north China.
The Black Death – Bubonic
plague killed about 20 million – one third of the population.
Smallpox, introduced by the Spanish, reduced the Mexican population from 20
million to less than 2 million.
During the “30 Years War,” European population fell from 16 million to 6 million
through disease and starvation.
Recurrences of bubonic plague
in Europe killed 420,000.
Cholera epidemic in Europe killed 7000 in London alone.
Cholera killed one million Russians.
Measles killed one quarter of
the population of Fiji.
Spanish Influenza left 20
million dead worldwide.
Ebola virus in Africa killed 1000.
already killed millions (including a half million in US). Every year 2 to 3
million people die from AIDS. 42 million worldwide are now living with HIV.
AN EPIDEMIC OF FEAR
Although medical science has made
tremendous achievements, including the elimination of Smallpox, the battle
against bugs has increased, and the world is held in the grip of fear through
Witness the reeling airlines, as countless
potential passengers stay at home.
In the 1960s the American surgeon-general
optimistically announced the end of infectious disease in the Western World. But
with Heart Disease, Cancer, Cholera, TB and Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
increasing; and with many of the regular killers like Malaria, Influenza,
Dengue, Hepatitis, and Measles not conquered; and such diseases such as Foot &
Mouth and Mad Cow Disease; and with new diseases such as Ebola, AIDS and SARS
spreading, fear around the world is increasing.
We now have what some are referring to as
the New World
With the mass media heavily reporting on
biological weapons; with the nations' buildup for germ warfare; and with the
possibility of terrorists being equipped with weaponized plagues, the world is
in panic. Theories that diseases are being deliberately engineered, add to
fears caused by the “natural phenomenon” of mutating, rampaging viruses.
There are fears of chemical ‘diseases’ –
Nerve Gas, deadly poisons like Ricin and Botulism, and of course, Nuclear
Radiation - witness Hiroshima, and Chernobyl.
There are fears that our miracle medicines
– antibiotics – are losing their power because of overuse, and due to the
ability of the bugs to mutate and fight back more vigorously.
Sensational stories of plague in the
news-media could well convince us that we are already as good as dead! But
certainly the world is moving through a very dangerous stage in the war on
disease - the world of the virus, the bugs, and bacteria.
There are fears in the medical and
scientific communities of a
super epidemic of
influenza – or some new disease
(“the big one”) - that could spread around the world as fast as jumbo jets, and
possibly wipe out hundreds of millions.
It’s true that the news media are inclined
to exaggerate in their reporting – sensational news sells! It’s true the world
is not about to be wiped out by disease – not at present. It’s true that
medical science is making amazing breakthroughs in some areas.
But it is also true that plagues are
scheduled for the endtimes – and the conditions in society, in the environment,
and in the nations, indicate that the Day of the LORD is near. The prophetic
scriptures warn of what is ahead.
“And there will be mighty and violent
earthquakes in various places, and plagues, (pestilences, malignant,
contagious or infectious diseases, and deadly, devastating epidemics).”
the Messiah - Luke 21:11)
“Now this will be the plague with which
YHWH will strike all the nations who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their
flesh will consume away while they stand on their feet; their eyes will consume
away in their sockets; and their tongue will consume away in their mouths.”
THE PLAGUES OF
“And no one was able to
enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended. Then I
heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the
seven bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth.’
“The first angel went and
poured out his bowl upon the earth, and loathsome and malignant sores
broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his
“The second angel poured
out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead
person; and every living thing in the sea died.
“The third angel poured
out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters saying, ‘You are righteous, O LORD, You who
are and were, and forever shall be, the Holy One, because You have so
judged, for they have poured out the blood of Your set-apart people and
prophets, and You have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’ And I heard
another from the altar saying, ‘Yes, O YHWH El Shaddai, LORD God
Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.’
“The fourth angel poured
out his bowl upon the sun; and the sun was given power to scorch men with
fire. And men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the Name of
God (Yahweh) who had control over these plagues; but they did not repent
and give Him glory.
“The fifth angel poured
out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom was plunged into
darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony. And they cursed and
blasphemed the God of heaven because of their anguish and their sores;
and they refused to repent of their wicked deeds.”
(Revelation 15:8 – 16:1-11)
GOD IS WARNING THE
It is quite clear from the prophecies that
the above plagues are judgments sent by Almighty God. They are coming in the
period called The Great Tribulation, of which MRC has been warning for many
years. And of course, the Bible has been warning for much longer!
The day of Tribulation is drawing near,
and what we see today, in epidemics like SARS, is
a foretaste, a warning of
the Day of the Plagues of Revelation.
In the days of Moses, plagues and diseases
were connected to man’s disobedience to the Word of God.
“If you are not careful to observe all the
words of the teaching which are written in this book, to reverence this glorious
and awesome Name, Yahweh your God, then Yahweh will bring extraordinary plagues
on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and
“He will bring back on you all the
diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also
every sickness, and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law,
Yahweh will bring on you until you are destroyed. And whereas you were as the
stars of heaven for multitude, you shall be left few in number, because you did
not obey the voice of Yahweh your God.” (Deuteronomy
Disease entered the world because of man’s
sin and corruption. And it has multiplied, until today we have a ferocious,
unending battle against bugs. A recent report from the UK says:
Explosion of sex infections
overwhelms health service
Soaring rates of sexually transmitted
infections are overwhelming the British National Health System and are
threatening the health of a generation of young people.
Pressure on the sexual health services has
intensified in the last decade, fuelled by changing sexual behavior. Cases of
Gonorrhea have risen 86 per cent in five years, and those of Chlamydia have
doubled. Syphilis is making a return, and the rate of HIV infection rose to its
highest level last year.
The impact of the rise in diseases has
been seen in a doubling of the number of people attending clinics in the last
decade to more than one million a year. Traditionally, patients receive
immediate treatment to minimize the risk of passing their passing infections on
to new sexual partners, but the “open access” service has collapsed in parts of
the UK. The average waiting time for an appointment nationwide is now two weeks.
In that time a disease can be passed on.
The Commons Health Select Committee has
concluded that it is in crisis, with a shortage of resources, facilities and
staff. The committee chairman, said:
“Frankly, the whole sexual
health service is a shambles.”
We are living in a generation when most
people are shocked by rape and sexual abuse of youngsters, but they are quite
accommodating of any other forms of immorality.
The words ‘fornication” and “adultery”
shock very few these days!
Many young people today don’t even know the meaning of those two words. But
they do know a lot about consensual sex, de facto relationships, gay rights, one
night stands, condoms and abortion.
We are now living in much the same way as
the people of 3000 years ago …
“In those days there was no king in
Israel; and every man did as he himself saw fit.” (Judges
What is the Most High saying to
Do not doubt for a moment that God looks
down, and sees our corruption and wickedness today. The LORD said to King Asa:
eyes of Yahweh search the whole earth to manifest His strength on
behalf of those whose hearts are in right relationship with Him. But
you have acted foolishly in this; therefore, from now on
you will have wars.” (2
The Almighty is sending us warnings today
in the form of wars and terrorism; with bush fires and drought as in Australia;
and 298 tornadoes in one week in US; and elsewhere, in floods, earthquakes,
cyclones, storms, pestilences on crops and cattle, plus plagues and epidemics.
What is God saying?
His word to every one of us, is …
“Believe in the Master,
Y’shua the Messiah (that is, give yourself up to Him), and you will be
saved; (and this applies both to) you and your household.”
Many may have been ignorant in the past,
“Having overlooked the times of ignorance,
God now commands all people everywhere to
repent (that is, to change direction, and to believe in the
Saviour, Y’shua, who has already paid the penalty of our sins), because
He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world
in righteousness through the Man whom He has appointed, having furnished
proof to all by raising Him from the dead.”
JESUS SUFFERED AND
SAVE US FROM OUR SIN
“Y’shua, being reviled, did not
revile in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept
entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. And He Himself bore our
sins in His body on the tree, so that we, having died to sin, might live to
righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed.” (1
And “God has raised up this Y’shua, and we
are all witnesses to this.”
“And there is salvation in no one else;
for there is no other name under heaven that has
been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
“Whoever will call upon
the Name of Y’shua the Master will be saved.”
“You are all
sons of God through faith in the Messiah,
“The LORD is … patient toward you,
not wanting anyone to perish, but for
everyone to come to repentance. But the Day of Yahweh the Lord will come
(unexpected) like a thief in the night...” (2
return to God and be converted -
be changed, so that your sins may be wiped out, and in order that times
of refreshing may come from the Presence of the Lord; and
that He may send Y’shua, the Messiah who
was foreordained and proclaimed to you - He who must remain in
heaven until the
period of restoration of all things, about which God spoke by the
mouth of His holy prophets from the most ancient times.”
My reader, if you are not yet a child of
God; if you have not yet believed in the Lord Jesus (Y’shua) and received Him as
your personal Saviour; if you have not yet received the forgiveness of your
sins, then I urge you, do not delay!
Today the Saviour is waiting with arms
wide open to receive you. He knows all about you, and nothing takes Him by
surprise. He loves just the same, and He has already paid the penalty of your
sins. Now He offers you His pardon, and He will give you a new life – eternal
life. That is the gift He is offering you. Will you receive it? Will you receive
the Saviour as your personal Saviour today?
How do you do that?
By praying sincerely to God, and
expressing your faith in Him. You can pray in words like this . . .
I come to You in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Y’shua, the Messiah). I come
just as I am, a sinner needing your salvation, and seeking Your grace and
forgiveness of my sin.
I believe that the Lord
Jesus is Your provision for my salvation. I believe that when He died on the
cross at Calvary, He paid the penalty of all my sin. I believe that He rose from
the dead, and is the Living Saviour.
Lord Jesus, I believe in
You, and I trust You to save me. I receive You this very moment as my Saviour,
my Master, and my God. Thank You Master for the great price You paid to save me
from eternal hell.
Thank You Father for
forgiving my sin, and for making me Your child. Thank You for writing my name in
Your Book of Life.
Now Master I submit my
life into Your keeping, and ask that You deliver me from all wrong, and from my
sinful habits, and make me what You want me to be. By Your grace and power, from
this day on, I will follow You as Your faithful servant.
Thank You Master. Thank
You Father for hearing my prayer, in Y’shua’s Name. Amen.
………………………………………… date ………..
Reader, if this is your prayer, please
sign and keep the prayer with you as a reminder of your decision
today. And I’d be glad if you would drop me a note, telling me of
your decision, so that we may pray for you and send you some
literature to help you. Write to me, Don Stanton, at one of the MRC addresses on
our contact page.
A FINAL WORD
WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO
HIS PEOPLE TODAY?
“If I shut up the heavens and
there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send
pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My Name
humble themselves and pray, and seek My Face and turn from
their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and
heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
This message is to God’s people! The
“world” is searching for answers; the scientists, the ecologists, and medical
researchers are all doing their best to find the answers.
But it is for God’s people to
and seek God’s Face,
to turn from their wicked
so that our people will be saved and
It’s time that 2 Chronicles 7: 13-14
was proclaimed from every pulpit!
Pastor! Preacher! When did you last
preach on this verse, or any verse like it?
patient, brethren, until the coming of the Master. See how the farmer
waits expectantly for the precious ‘fruit of the earth,’ waiting patiently until
the land receives the early and late rains. You too be patient.
“Establish your hearts, for
the coming of the Master is near. Do not
complain against one another brethren, so that you yourselves may not be
condemned. Look! The Judge is standing right at
the door!” (James
Oh brethren, we need to humbly and
urgently seek the Face of Yahweh our Sovereign Master, and turn the hearts of
the people back to Him in truth and holiness!
We need a revival of righteousness; a
vision of the lost; a passion for souls; a burden to intercede, a burden to save
souls, a willingness to stand in the gap; and a renewed sense of awe of Almighty
God as we come into His Presence.
The Almighty, Yahweh said, (and it was not
meant only for ancient Israel):
“I will make an everlasting covenant with
them: I will never draw back from doing good to them; and
I will put awe of Me in their hearts so that
they will not turn away from Me.” (Jeremiah
“O Yahweh, there is none like You. You are
great, and Your Name is mighty in power. Who would
not stand in awe of You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your
due! For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their
kingdoms, there is none like You.”
And all the people said Amen!
And did nothing about it!
Be doers of the Word, and
not hearers only!
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