Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Friday, March 21, 2003
    Friday night. I'm tired. I have been coping with some bad news over the last ten days: I recently found out that a classmate of mine from high school died after a brief illness; a member of my church, a very nice woman who I got to know fairly well (we both sat on the parish school board) died of a brain tumor; a long-time patient of mine who I have a really good relationship with told me a week ago that he'd been diagnosed HIV positive.

    Oh, and that giving-up-coffee-for-Lent thing? That is so not happening. But I have stayed away from Starbucks and have saved quite a bit of money, and will be donating that, so I hope that will make up for it.

    In other news: the latest on the SARS pneumonia - the virus has been identified.

    TORONTO, March 21 (Reuters) - Canadian researchers said on Friday they were able to identify a virus related to measles and mumps in six of eight cases of a deadly globe-trotting form of pneumonia that has baffled world health officials.

    The researchers said six Canadian victims of the infection, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), contained evidence of the human metapneumovirus, part of a family of viruses called paramyxoviruses.

    More than 300 people have fallen ill with SARS and at least 10 have died, according to the World Health Organization, which issued a global health alert about the outbreak last week.

    The outbreak, which may be linked to a wave of similar illnesses reported in China earlier this year, has spread through Hong Kong, Vietnam and other parts of Asia.

    Hong Kong health authorities said most infections could be traced to a single doctor who treated patients in China before becoming ill and dying from SARS.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that 22 people in states stretching from Maine to California were suspected to be infected with the disease.



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