I wonder what the animal rights wackos will say about this!


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jimpeel
January 5, 2004, 03:11 AM
SOURCE (http://news.myway.com/top/article/id/321078|top|01-05-2004::01:45|reuters.html)

China to Kill Rats, Civet Cats Amid SARS Fears

Jan 5, 1:41 AM (ET)

By Nick Macfie

BEIJING (Reuters) - In a campaign to stop another SARS outbreak, China will kill thousands of civet cats and try to wipe out rats and cockroaches as fears of new cases of the flu-like disease spread to Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Southern China's Guangdong province, which is monitoring its first suspected SARS patient in months, planned to kill about 10,000 civets and to close wild-animal markets to eliminate a possible source of the disease, state media said.

"We will start a patriotic health campaign to kill rats and cockroaches in order to give every place a thorough cleaning for the Lunar New Year," Guangdong health bureau official Feng Liuxiang was quoted by state media as saying. Chinese New Year begins on January 22.

"And we will kill all the civet cats in Guangdong markets, which number about 10,000," he said in a drive reminiscent of Mao Zedong's pest eradication campaigns.

SARS originated in Guangdong in November 2002 and went on to kill 800 people around the world, including about 350 in China.

In the Philippines, a woman suspected of contracting SARS while working in Hong Kong had been isolated but health officials said Monday it was too early to confirm if she had the virus. The woman's husband and her doctor had also been isolated.

A spokesman for the center for diseases control in Guangdong said a virus gene sample from a suspected SARS patient in the province resembled that of a coronavirus found in civet cats, which are a delicacy in southern China.

"We should begin the measures to prevent SARS beforehand and ban sales and eating of the animal in a bid to reduce the chance of contracting SARS virus," Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying.

DIAGNOSIS AWAITED

The 32-year-old television producer suspected of having SARS was admitted to hospital in Guangzhou in December but laboratory tests have been inconclusive.

The World Health Organization said it expected Hong Kong laboratories to hand over their findings on the case Monday or Tuesday.

The patient told doctors last month he had not left Guangzhou or eaten wild animal meat for a month before hospitalization.

Many scientists believe SARS spread from farms in southern China, possibly jumping from animals such as civet cats, ducks, pigs and rats to humans.

Chinese media reports have speculated the man might have caught the virus from rats but that has not been confirmed.

SARS emerged in Guangdong in late 2002 and travelers spread it to nearly 30 countries where about 8,000 people were infected between November 2002 and May 2003.

Experts eventually identified a new kind of coronavirus as the cause of the flu-like disease, which triggers an unusually severe form of pneumonia. Such viruses cause a range of veterinary diseases but usually nothing worse than the common cold in people.

A Hong Kong newspaper said a waitress had become the second suspected SARS case in Guangdong but provincial officials and hospitals denied the report.

The Hong Kong Standard said the waitress, in her early 20s, developed a fever a week ago and was being kept in isolation at the Guangzhou No. 1 People's Hospital.

Citing unidentified reports from Guangzhou, it said the woman had symptoms of the flu-like illness but an announcement would not be made unless test results confirmed the disease.

"We do have a fever patient due to pneumonia, but this has no direct connection with any suspected SARS case," Wang Ming, deputy director of Guangzhou City diseases prevention and control center, told a news conference.

The No. 1 People's Hospital told Reuters: "We don't have a suspected SARS patient because we are not a first-line SARS hospital."

China's new eradication campaign brought to mind Mao Zedong's campaigns against rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows, which he denounced as the country's biggest four evils.

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Art Eatman
January 5, 2004, 09:09 AM
Interesting article, but I see no point to merely inviting more PETA bashing here...

:), Art

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