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Posts Tagged ‘health’

(Letter from raventhorn4000) Swine Flu Scare, is it too much hype or just right amount of alertness?

May 5th, 2009 14 comments

It’s not permanent Orange Alert condition, but the latest swine flu cases around the world has definitely caused some small amount of panic.

Is it too much hype or just right amount of alertness? I don’t know.

It’s not Duct tape your house in case of chemical attacks, but some in the West have accused China (including HK) of overreacting, in the latest cases of quarantines imposed on Mexican travelers.

Over 300 guests in HK’s Metropark Hotel have been quarantined for several days now.

Some Mexican travelers in China have been put into quarantines despite having NO symptoms of swine flu.

Mexico has denounced these quarantines as discriminatory and “inhumane”.

But let’s put this in perspectives:

(1) the Guests in Metropark Hotel are mostly NON-Mexicans. That’s not “discriminatory”.

(2) the 1 confirmed case Swine flu of Mexican traveler who was on a flight to China, initially also did NOT show any signs of illness. So much is unknown about this particular strain of swine flu, including how long does it take from initial infection to showing symptoms.

This indeed justify some quarantines of travelers from some geographic origins.

This is not “discriminatory”.

(3) Mexico itself has imposed blanket shutdowns of virtually all public places, including schools, shops, etc., to prevent the spread of swine flu, with no end in sight.

One can hardly claim that China’s limited quarantine procedure in this case is unjustified when the Mexican government itself has imposed a far more draconian dragnet operation.

In terms of economic damages, Mexico’s own shutdowns have caused far more damages to its own economy and impacted far more of its own citizens than China’s quarantines.

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While specific targeting of quarantines might be more helpful and less stressful to individuals, but one must face reality, even the CDC doesn’t know for sure how the swine flu is being spread. Undoubtedly it could be any number of means.

Even some in US are suggesting an outright border sealing with Mexico.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

What is the best country to get sick in?

March 12th, 2009 32 comments

This may start like a bar story, but it may end as a rant: one day, a Canadian colleague, an American colleague and I (Chinese) were having lunch, and we were talking about the health care problems each face in our countries.   In Canada, you pay high tax, but health care is free.  In America, you pay relatively low tax (according to the Canadian), but healthcare is ridiculously expensive.  China’s medical system is so diverse and constantly changing that I don’t know where to start.  Read more…

Tainted baby formula scandal blows up in China

September 12th, 2008 69 comments

The brand is Sanlu (三鹿), one of the best known domestic manufacturers of milk products in China. sanluThe scandal involves babies falling ill across the country with kidney stones after consuming Sanlu brand baby formula that have since been found to contain melamine, which can boost the apparent protein content of the product in quality control tests. How did this happen? Sanlu says it got a tainted source of milk; nevertheless many people still speculate — based on similar “black-heart food” incidents in the past — that for reasons of profit the manufacturer knowingly kept a closed eye on doping in its food processing chain.

The basic story is here (in Chinese) and has seeped into English-speaking media also, for example here. But it is still a rapidly developing story with new information/rumors coming out every minute. At this moment it is the top discussion item pretty much everywhere in Chinese news and online forums.
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China's Hazy Future?

September 4th, 2008 39 comments

According to an article from the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago, China will face three major problems in the coming years.  The problems involve: the nation’s changing demographics, the increasing strain on energy and environmental resources, and widening social inequalities between the rich and poor.

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