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Thread: TCM and SARS

  1. #1
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    TCM and SARS

    Yahoo! News Sun, Nov 09, 2003 Search News StoriesNews PhotosAudio/VideoFull CoverageThe New York TimesThe Web

    Ginger root may help contain SARS: Japanese report

    Sat Nov 8, 4:24 PM ET Add Health - AFP to My Yahoo!

    TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese researchers have found traditional Chinese medicines containing a ginger root extract can prevent the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS (news - web sites)) virus from proliferating, a report said.

    The finding was made by a research team led by Yoshiyuki Yoshinaka, virology associate professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said in its evening edition.

    Researchers found three types of Chinese herbal medicine, used as cold cures for centuries, prevent the increase of the SARS virus when applied to SARS-infected monkey cells, the daily said.

    A common ingredient in the three drugs is a ginger root extract, it said.

    The virus levels in samples that had been given the extract were 50 percent less than the levels of untreated samples after 30 hours, it said.

    ________________________________________________

    Yahoo! News Sun, Nov 09, 2003 Search News StoriesNews PhotosAudio/VideoFull CoverageThe New York

    Some recovered SARS patients in Hong Kong have bone disease
    Sun Nov 9, 4:30 AM ET Add Health - AFP to My Yahoo!

    HONG KONG (AFP) - Some 50 patients who recovered from SARS (news - web sites) in Hong Kong are suffering from bone degeneration possibly caused by the drugs used to treat the potentially fatal virus.

    Hospital Authority (HA) Chairman Leung Che-hung said Sunday the authority had contacted about 1,500 patients who had recovered from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and found about 50 of the 500 who had undergone medical examinations were found to have avascular necrosis.

    "We have carried out examinations on about 400 to 500 patients in about 12 post-SARS rehabilitation units and found that after X-rays were carried out, about 10 percent of them were shown to be suffering from bone degeneration," Leung said.

    The disease results from the temporary or permanent loss of blood to the bones, causing tissue to die and sometimes bones to collapse. It commonly affects the ends of longer bones.

    Medical experts have said the problem in some recovered SARS patients was possibly linked to the use of the controversial anti-viral drug ribavirin and steroids.

    The disease was detected in the hip joints of 28 of the 50 patients, a HA spokeswoman said.

    The amount of disability that results from avascular necrosis depends on which part of the bone is affected, the size of the affected area and how effectively the bone rebuilds itself.

    Some patients recover naturally after a period of observation, others require a de-compression procedure on the hip joint, while a hip joint replacement operation is needed for the most serious cases.

    The HA said it is continuing its investigation into whether the bone disease is linked to the treatment received by SARS patients or whether it is caused by SARS itself.

    It conceded, however, that bone weakness was a known side-effect of steroid treatment.

    The Hong Kong government was criticised by some in the medical sector for persisting with Ribavirin and steroids as a SARS treatment.

    Studies by US health experts earlier found that Ribavirin was ineffective in combatting the virus while fears were raised over possible side-effects from the high steroid doses used in treatment.

    Earlier this year, SARS infected more than 8,000 people worldwide, killing 774.


    Hong Kong was the second worst-affected region with 299 SARS-related deaths and nearly 1,800 infections.
    Last edited by RAF; 11-09-2003 at 05:28 AM.
    "Its better to build bridges rather than dig holes but occasionally you have to dig a few holes to build the foundation of a strong bridge."

    "Traditional Northern Chinese Martial Arts are all Sons of the Same Mother," Liu Yun Qiao

  2. RAF,

    These are interesting articles. Most certainly, catching a disease is bad. And sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. However, is that the point of your post?

    Here's another question to the implied one of the articles (is modern medicine any better than traditional)...how would TCM have diagnosed the infection? Without a viable model for cells and bacteria, it seem it would be a tough row to how.

    I imagine that the TCM Dr.s would have observed the patients, taken the pulse and perhaps proscribed the ginger or other 'cold remedies used for centuries.' Of course, many would have died very quickly and one has to wonder how that would be explained. Especially since transmission of microogranisms isn't considered a factor. Indeed, if transmission wasn't contained, one has to wonder if this would have swept across the region as a plague. After all, who would have made the connection between the Dr. and all the people dropping dead around him/her since he/she would most certainly have carried the contaigon from house to house? It simply isn't considered in TCM.

    I've said it before...what is really needed is a look at how the strengths of each can work together. Dealing with SARS is not a strength of TCM.

    CT
    Last edited by ctoepker; 11-11-2003 at 10:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    CT:

    By and large I completely agree: they have to "complement" each other.

    However, I am not so sure that Western medicine handled the SARS much better than you mentioned. Simply knowing the source may not be enough. Frankly, I don't think we know how to treat viral infections very well.

    However, the transmission of animal to human has yet to be proven which makes it really troublesome (yes, I want those virologists to continue their work and discover the source).

    Also, many where misdiagnosed with SARS, however, this has led to better identification tests and that is a positive.

    I just hate to see TCM dimissed out of hand by the hardcore allopaths. Medicine and treatment of diseases is a really tough problem and, like you said, its best when they work hand in hand. (I am also aware of the quackery accompanying TCM so I always have a strong appreciation for the skeptic in me but too many times I've thrown the baby out with bath water, bath tub and plumbing system).

    I hope the ginger treatment will work---no guarantee it will work in humans.

    Later.
    "Its better to build bridges rather than dig holes but occasionally you have to dig a few holes to build the foundation of a strong bridge."

    "Traditional Northern Chinese Martial Arts are all Sons of the Same Mother," Liu Yun Qiao

  4. Originally posted by RAF
    I just hate to see TCM dimissed out of hand by the hardcore allopaths. Medicine and treatment of diseases is a really tough problem and, like you said, its best when they work hand in hand. (I am also aware of the quackery accompanying TCM so I always have a strong appreciation for the skeptic in me but too many times I've thrown the baby out with bath water, bath tub and plumbing system).

    I hope the ginger treatment will work---no guarantee it will work in humans.
    [/B]
    LOL on the baby, bath and plumbing! I know what you mean.

    As for the ginger...heck, there isn't even proof that it will work in actual monkeys...only petry dish monkey cells at this point, or did I miss something?

    Scary!

    CT

  5. #5
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    I LOOOOVE GINGER

    I ingest a lot of ginger - ginger tea in winter, ginger beer in summer, ginger in my stir fry - my cat was even named ginger. love it love it love it. I think it all goes back to Gilligan's Island.

    Anyway, I'm a bit skeptical of SARS cures, just like I'm skeptical of AIDS and cancer cures, nevermind what the source is, western medicine or TCM. It's just too early to tell, but such reports are certainly promising. I think my favorite SARS cure came out of Beijing when a big folk cure was nicotine. Good old nicotine. Justifies all that chain smoking they do there. Best thing America ever gave the world, that and corn syrup.
    Gene Ching
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    the formula for SARS

    See? The answers are out there.
    Gene Ching
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    ttt for 2018

    Hong Kong health care and hospitals
    Why Sars still lingers in the minds of many Hongkongers, 15 years on
    Survivors tell of the pain they still live with. Others outgrew their fears, finding the motivation to serve society
    PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 11:18am
    UPDATED : Saturday, 24 March, 2018, 11:32pm
    Elizabeth Cheung
    elizabeth.cheung@scmp.com
    http://twitter.com/cheung_le

    They may have been brief stopovers, but they left a deadly mark on Hong Kong history.

    On February 21, 2003, a 64-year-old medical professor from Guangzhou in neighbouring Guangdong province checked into the Metropole Hotel in Mong Kok, where he took ill. About three weeks later, a sick Shenzhen man visited his brother at a flat in Block E of the Amoy Gardens estate in Kowloon Bay.

    Suffering from a mysterious disease, the professor, later known as “patient zero”, infected other guests who spread it to Hong Kong’s Prince of Wales Hospital and overseas.

    Is Hong Kong ready for the next deadly epidemic?

    At Amoy Gardens, Block E became the centre of a terrifying outbreak of the disease that would kill 299 people in the city out of 1,755 infected.

    Medical masks became a way of life for Hongkongers. Travellers avoided the fear-filled city, which came to a standstill. The virus travelled to Southeast Asia and as far as Canada.


    Health officials (in white) with residents (in blue) at Block E of Amoy Gardens. Photo: AFP

    It was only later that the World Health Organisation gave the novel and deadly infectious disease a name: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

    The unprecedented health crisis not only highlighted the risks Hong Kong faced as a global transit hub, but also exposed the fragility of the city’s health care system.

    Fifteen years on, some survivors tell the Post of the pain they still live with. Others outgrew their fears, finding the motivation to serve society. But the big question is: when the next public health crisis emerges, will Hong Kong be ready?

    Charmaine Kwok, 22, child of a Sars victim

    “Mom told me over the phone she missed me,” said Charmaine Kwok Ming-wai, 22, recalling some of the final words from her mother, who was quarantined in hospital and eventually succumbed to the disease. “Her voice was very weak at the time.”

    Charmaine, just seven at the time, lost her precious mother but gained a new family member: a baby brother. Her mother, who lived in Block E of Amoy Gardens, was heavily pregnant. She received a caesarean section, fearing the potent drugs for treating Sars might harm the unborn baby. She died three weeks after giving birth to a son.

    I wasn’t willing to tell others what I had gone through as I didn’t want sympathy CHARMAINE KWOK
    At the time the family gained considerable attention, and received financial support from the We Care Education Fund set up by four female senior officials, including Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who was then social welfare director. Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, paid them a visit in June that year. A photo of Wen holding the baby boy was telling evidence of how Sars had traumatised the city.

    When she was younger, Charmaine kept her personal experience with Sars to herself.

    “I wasn’t willing to tell others what I had gone through as I didn’t want sympathy … or to benefit from the experience,” she said, adding she started opening up about her past when she reached senior secondary level.


    Carrie Lam announces the setting up of the We Care Education Fund in 2003. Photo: SCMP

    She is studying business and psychology at Baptist University but plans to concentrate on the latter and study for a master’s after she graduates this summer. She hopes to become a psychologist to help those who face similar experiences.

    “I could be drawn closer to people with such experiences, having had similar.”

    These children affected by Sars turned out to be real survivors SHELLEY LEE, FUND CO-FOUNDER
    Charmaine is one of 75 children supported by the fund until they reach 25 years old. It covers expenses for young people whose parents died from Sars.

    Her brother, who also keeps a low profile, is now a Form Three pupil.

    The fund still has over HK$20 million (US$2.5 million) to support young people who have not completed their education.

    Fund co-founder Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, former permanent secretary for home affairs, said 50 of the 75 youngsters had already graduated from university. They are now pursuing different careers, ranging from health care to performing arts.

    “These children affected by Sars turned out to be real survivors,” Lee said. “Undaunted and positive. They represent the true spirit of Hong Kong.”

    How Hong Kong bakery hit the big time during the Sars epidemic

    Mary, 71, Sars survivor

    Mary was glad to think that death might be closing in when cancer cells were found in her body recently. She said it was because the physical and mental pain from Sars was intolerable.

    It was too hard for the 71-year-old Sars survivor, who wished to be identified only by her first name, to forget what brought those pains 15 years ago.

    “It is not possible for me to let go of those burdens in my heart, as I’m still suffering the pain every day,” said Mary, who lost her younger brother to the deadly virus.

    Her hip joints first started to ache around October 2003, just months after she left Queen Elizabeth Hospital where she was treated for Sars. She was told by doctors that 43 per cent of her bones had developed avascular necrosis – the death of bone tissue caused by a lack of blood supply. The bone disease was linked to the high dose of steroids used to treat Sars.


    Mary can only get by with the use of a walking frame. Photo: Nora Tam
    Mary’s walking improved after she received new hip joints in 2005, but in the next few years she began to develop great pain in her shoulders.

    Her hip joints took a turn for the worse last year. Now, she relies on a walking frame and can go at most 30 minutes before needing a break. She was prescribed five types of painkiller, including three with morphine, to relieve her suffering.

    Dying is a good thing to me. My bone pain can’t be cured and I rely on painkillers MARY, SARS SURVIVOR
    The long-lasting physical problems have also affected Mary’s emotions. “Sars affected my legs. I can no longer work and I feel useless. It seems I’m just here waiting to die,” she said.

    Mary felt glad when she was told by doctors this month that cancer cells were found in her gallbladder, which was removed by surgery recently.

    “Dying is a good thing to me. My bone pain can’t be cured and I rely on painkillers.”

    Mary, who drove an ice cream truck for a year before Sars, had thought about becoming a professional driver but the pain put paid to that.

    A former Catholic, she lost her faith after the epidemic. “I thought God would know our difficulties … [but if so] why would my younger brother die?” she asked tearfully.
    continued next post
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    Continued from previous post


    Dr Fung Hong, 60, Sars survivor and former head of a public hospital

    As the head of Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin during the Sars epidemic, Dr Fung Hong fought the battle from a bed in an isolation ward. Fung, struck down by the disease himself, said he could not abdicate his role as a leader.

    He can still recall the anxious faces of his colleagues 15 years later. Some 300 pairs of eyes stared at him during a staff forum at the beginning of the epidemic.

    “I could see anxiety in those eyes,” Fung said. “I had never experienced such a scene before. But as the leader of a hospital, you need to control your emotions and face problems positively.”


    Dr Fung Hong says Sars never left a mark on him. Photo: Winson Wong

    He decided to hold a staff forum twice a day, one at lunchtime and the other after working hours. He did so to share the latest arrangements about the epidemic and answer queries from frontline staff on matters such as the supply of protective equipment. The forum ran until no one showed up.

    As Fung could not attend meetings in person, professors Joseph Sung Jao-yiu and Sydney Chung Sheung-chee went to the ward every day and told him about the latest developments, he recalled, referring to two of the key figures in the Sars battle.

    “We carried on our daily discussions on strategies [towards Sars].”

    I could see anxiety in those eyes. I had never experienced such a scene before FUNG HONG, FORMER PRINCE OF WALES HOSPITAL BOSS
    Although his Sars symptoms were not grave, Fung also experienced conditions such as shortness of breath during his three-week stay in hospital.

    After the epidemic, Fung became the first chairman of the Sars Mutual Help Association, a patients’ group providing assistance to survivors.

    A keen runner, he still takes part in half-marathons and 10-kilometre races every year. Though his running times have not been as good since Sars, he put it down to his busy working schedule.

    “I’m a rather positive person and Sars didn’t leave a mark on me,” Fung said.

    He left the Hospital Authority in 2013 and is now spearheading the development of a new private teaching hospital set up by Chinese University of Hong Kong as its chief executive officer.

    Fung said a major epidemic would require the efforts of the city’s entire health care system to cope.

    Looking back, he said both the system’s hardware and software have improved, which could allow the city to cope with another epidemic.

    “Now every hospital is equipped with isolation facilities,” Fung said. “A quicker diagnostic method also allows us to identify a virus within a day, while in the past it took a few days.”

    An improved communication system also allows a faster response if a serious event emerges, he noted.

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: The children of victims have not been forgotten
    I remember SARS all too well. I traveled in China during that and wrote about it in my Shaolin Trips blog (episode 2).
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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    SARS was just a warning

    Coronavirus: Worldwide cases overtake 2003 Sars outbreak
    31 January 2020

    The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has overtaken that of the Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003.

    There were around 8,100 cases of Sars - severe acute respiratory syndrome - reported during the eight-month outbreak.

    But nearly 10,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed, most in China, since it emerged in December.

    More than 100 cases have been reported outside China, in 22 countries.

    The number of deaths so far stands at 213 - all in China. In total, 774 people were killed by Sars.

    On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency over the new outbreak.

    The UK on Friday confirmed its first two cases of the virus.

    In another development, the US also declared a public health emergency and said it would bar any foreign nationals who have visited China in the past two weeks from entering the country.

    Estimates by the University of Hong Kong suggest the true total number of cases could be far higher than official figures suggest. Based on mathematical models of the outbreak, experts there say more than 75,000 people may have been infected in the Chinese city of Wuhan alone, where the virus originated.

    Most cases outside China are in people who have been to Wuhan. But Germany, Japan, Vietnam, the United States, Thailand and South Korea have reported person-to-person cases - patients being infected by people who had travelled to China.

    Wuhan's Communist Party chief said on Friday the city should have taken measures sooner to contain the virus.

    "If strict control measures had been taken earlier, the result would have been better than now," Ma Guoqiang told state broadcaster CCTV.

    As governments around the world acted to contain the virus, WHO spokesman Chris Lindmeier warned that closing borders could in fact accelerate its spread, with travellers entering countries unofficially.

    "As we know from other scenarios, be it Ebola or other cases, whenever people want to travel, they will. And if the official paths are not opened, they will find unofficial paths," he said.

    He said the best way to track the virus was at official border crossings.

    How does this outbreak compare to Sars?

    Sars was a type of coronavirus that first emerged in China's Guangdong province in November 2002. By the time the outbreak ended the following July, it had spread to more than two dozen countries.

    The new coronavirus emerged only last month. So far, it has spread to fewer countries and - while more people have been infected globally - it has resulted in fewer deaths.

    On Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases within China surpassed the Sars epidemic.



    Sars was also estimated to have cost the global economy more than $30bn (£22bn).

    But economists have said the new coronavirus could have an even bigger impact on the world economy. It has forced global companies including tech giants, car makers and retailers to shut down temporarily in China.

    China was also criticised by the UN's global health body for concealing the scale of the original Sars outbreak.

    It has been praised for responding to the latest virus with tough measures, including effectively quarantining millions of residents in cities.

    But in his interview with CCTV on Friday, the Wuhan Communist Party chief said transport restrictions should have been brought in at least 10 days earlier.

    "The epidemic may have been alleviated somewhat, and not got to the current situation," Mr Ma said.

    The estimates from the University of Hong Kong suggest the epidemic is doubling in size roughly every week and that multiple Chinese cities may have imported sufficient cases to start local epidemics.

    "Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could potentially also become outbreak epicentres because of substantial spread of pre-symptomatic cases unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented immediately," Professor Joseph Wu said.

    Harder to spot and harder to stop

    Why is this outbreak more difficult to stop than Sars?

    The answer is not down to China - the speed and scale of the country's response to this new virus is widely considered to be unprecedented. The difference is the way the virus behaves inside the human body.

    Sars was a brutal infection that you couldn't miss - patients were contagious only when they had symptoms. This made it relatively easy to isolate the sick and quarantine anyone who might have been exposed.

    But the new virus, 2019-nCov, is harder to spot and therefore harder to stop.

    From the virus's perspective, it has a far smarter evolutionary survival strategy than Sars.

    The best estimate is only one-in-five cases cause severe symptoms, so instead of infected people turning up in hospital, you have to go out and find them.

    And we are getting detailed documented cases of people spreading the virus before they even have symptoms.

    There is a tendency to focus only on how deadly a virus is. But it is this, in combination with a virus's ability to spread, that determines its true threat.



    How is China handling this?

    A confirmed case in Tibet means the virus has now reached every region in mainland China.

    The central province of Hubei, where nearly all deaths have occurred, is in a state of lockdown. The province of 60 million people is home to Wuhan, which is at the heart of the outbreak.

    The city has effectively been sealed off and China has put numerous transport restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus. People who have been in Hubei are also being told to work from home.

    China has said it will send charter planes to bring back Hubei residents who are overseas "as soon as possible". A foreign ministry spokesman said this was because of the "practical difficulties" Chinese citizens had faced abroad.

    The virus is affecting China's economy, the world's second-largest, with a growing number of countries advising their citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to the country.

    How is the world responding?

    Voluntary evacuations of hundreds of foreign nationals from Wuhan are under way.

    The UK, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are expected to quarantine all evacuees for two weeks to monitor them for symptoms and avoid contagion.

    Australia plans to quarantine its evacuees on Christmas Island, 2,000km (1,200 miles) from the mainland in a detention centre that has been used to house asylum seekers.

    In other recent developments:

    Sweden confirmed its first case - a woman in her 20s who arrived in the country on 24 January after visiting the Wuhan area

    Russia said two Chinese citizens had been placed in isolation after they tested positive for the virus

    Singapore closed its borders to all travellers from China

    Germany confirmed its seventh case - a man from a company in Bavaria where five other workers have tested positive

    Italy declared a six-month state of emergency after two Chinese tourists in Rome were diagnosed with the coronavirus

    Thailand confirmed its first case of human-to-human transmission

    Mongolia suspended all arrivals from China until 2 March. It also banned its citizens from travelling to the country

    In the US, Chicago health officials reported the first US case of human-to-human transmission

    Russia decided to close its 4,300km (2,670-mile) far-eastern border with China

    Japan raised its infectious disease advisory level for China

    Some 250 French nationals were evacuated from Wuhan

    India confirmed its first case of the virus - a student in the southern state of Kerala who was studying in Wuhan

    Israel barred all flight connections with China

    North Korea suspended all flights and trains to and from China, said the British ambassador to North Korea

    Guatemala announced new travel restrictions, saying anyone who had been to China in the past 15 days would be prevented from reaching the country
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