Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
 


Saturday, April 12, 2003

SARS Patient Zero: Chinese Doctor's Research Causes Epidemic

A Possible Alternative Face Of The Truth Behind
How The SARS Virus Spread

Long nights in a research laboratory, to manipulate a new virus
Then the travel to Hong Kong for a wedding
From super scientist to great untore and
"patient zero" of the new SARS virus killer

An alternative interesting story about how the deadly SARS virus spread never made it to any of the major western newspapers, outside of a little but qualified appearance on the Italian major newspaper "La Repubblica".

Why did this story never make it to the major news media?
Is it because the story is pure fantasy and could not be verified or are there other interests and reasons at work?

Read more and find out yourself.
I have translated for you the full text of the original article that appeared on "La Repubblica", so that you can check and verify for yourself this slightly different view at how this deadly virus got his first free spin around the streets of China.

HONG KONG - City of Guangzhou, southern China, 150 kilometers from Hong Kong. One night of February. Two o'clock am has just passed, but there is still one window illuminated at the fourth plan of the great anonymous building of the Medicine University. It is the floor of the search laboratories, normally closed at this hour, like all the others at the institute. But in the S2 analysis laboratory, dedicated to work on infectious diseases, a man is still on the job.

He does not know it, but his destiny is about to change. From doctor to patient: "patient zero" of the terrible epidemic that within a few weeks will begin to spread inesorably around the world.

It is not the first night that professor Liu Janlun passes in laboratory. He has le to fight virus periodically plaguing the region, up to two or three times in a year.
The infamous H5N1 virus has been a real plague for some time in the region.

Every passage in the region of the H5N1 virus is marked as a flagellum, as the virus infects chicken, turkeys and ducks in the thousands. An uncontrollable catastrophe for the economy of the zone, not only for the campaigns of its city, Guangzhou, but also for the entire Chinese south region and even for Hong Kong.

It is for this very reasons that the Bejing government has promised professor Liu whatever reward he will choose to have as long as he is able to find a cure to fight H5N1. "Find a cure doctor, and you will have everything you want: fame, money, ...." this is what the doctor was told last time.

His research has now become an obsession. Every hour passed away from the research lab seems an eternity to Professor Liu.

Even the former job he held and which he loved so much - at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital - prestigious institute where Dr. Sun Yat-sen, one of the founders of modern China, studied and planned the revolution - now costs him sacrifice to be attended to.

Prof. Liu wants to find the cure. And little matters if the risk of getting contaminated himself is so high. He wants to find an antidote for it. He knows this well. To manipulate these kinds of viruses in the lab is a very risky business. Viruses are invisible, and their specialty is to transfrom themselves, mutate and to adapt rapidly to the ever changing poisons they are being exposed to.

And it is in this way that 64 years old Professor Liu Janlun, renowned microbiologist, popular around China and not only in Guangzhou or in Hong Kong, has become "patient zero".

The man identified by experts as the first who has carried around of the infamous SARS killer virus, the one that has started the lethal epidemic carrying the infectious disease with him, has actually carried the SARS virus from the research institute where he used to conduct his experiments to the Hotel Metropole of Kowloon, where he has slept for two nights, on February 21st and 22nd in room 231 on the second floor. The windows of that room look on the Temple Street market.

He arrives already sick to Hong Kong. It is five days that he doesn't feel good.
He coughs and has some fever. But as he arrives at the hotel everything seems to disappear and he feels like meeting up with his brother-in-law and together they go walking around the district of Mongkok, doing some shopping. The area is both a commercial center as well as a red light district. The afternoon is spent looking at the items on sale at the shops on Natham Road and walking between the stands of Temple Street.

The last hours serene before falling sick again.

The next morning an ambulance carries him, at 10am in the morning, to the Kwong Wah Hospital. Liu understands immediately, with horror, that something has not gone right in the University lab. Maybe that glass touched inadva├Čertently without gloves, maybe that file that broke down. "Beware - he tells immediately the doctors he finds at the hospital - I am a doctor. I have been infected from some unknown agent and very dangerous."

He will day on March 4th 2003, in the double isolation room where he has been confined.

And he will not be alone. His walk around Mongkok was sufficient to sentence to death his brother-in-law who will die a week later at the Prince of Wales hospital, after having infected no less than 79 other people, and having started the terrible epidemic holding Hong Kong in terror.

It has been said that Professor Liu had come to Hong Kong to participate at a marriage of some relatives. In part this is true. But there is somebody who claims to know the true motives behind Professor Liu visit to the city.

His name is Sun Hong-Cheow, his job is the one of director of the Research Center heading epidemiologic research of the Guangzhou province: "To Hong Kong - he explains - Liu had come to meet with somebody from Bejing, who would have received the results of his research.
Not many people knew what Liu was working on. I was on the other hand aware that in our region somebody was trying to manipulate the virus H5N1 to create a vaccine.

A risky procedure, secretely lead. Professor Liu must have lost its control, creating unwanted and accidental virus mutations in the experimental lab.

This is the true reason why in Bejing they have waited so long to authorize the WHO inspection here in Guangzhou. "They" needed some time to cover up their tracks".

Dr. Sun has no hesitation in describing something that appears a story out of the X-files series. "Already two months ago, I had sent a urgent memo to the Health Minister in Zurich at the OMS headquarters.

"I had to warn them ablout the dangers of certain viruses of animal origin. I had also pointed out the potential risk involved in carrying out experiments like the ones done by Professor Liu and others. They have ignored everything I told them."

"I have also tried to talk to professor Liu but he has not allowed me to approach him. If he had listened to me, probably, today he would still be alive, and this catastrophe we are living now clould be avoided."

A chilling story, even if difficult to verify.

At the hospital Sun Yat-sen di Guangzhou nobody wants to talk of Professor Liu's research. When someone mentions his name the doctors of the institute leave or they that they don't know him. Only one doctor who wants to remain anonimous offers himslef to talk about this issue: "I don't know anything about Liu's research but I believe he has no responsibility. To the contrary, he was the one who had repeteadly lamented to the health authorities who wanted to keep the epidemic secret. He wanted to have the epidemic announced publicly because he felt people had a right to know. But nobody listened to him."

Professor Liu was a scientist. After his death he has become only a "patient zero".

by Marco Lupis
translated by Robin Good

Original story appeared on April 4th only on
the Italian newspaper
"La Repubblica" under the title:
"Da super scienziato a grande untore
il paziente zero del virus killer".
.

 
 
 
Readers' Comments    
2003-04-28 18:53:54

matilda

the girl who came to Ontario with this desease is a fricken idiot!!!! She should feel guilty for the lives that she has taken down along with her!!!!



 
posted by Robin Good on Saturday, April 12 2003, updated on Saturday, January 21 2006


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