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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor
'WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT!' - GROUP RAILS AGAINST W.H.O. SARS REPORTING
DENVER, CO - May 28, 2003 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- A watchdog group, Truth About
Reporting of SARS (TARS), claims that the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)
reports SARS data in a misleading fashion, resulting in unwarranted panic and
significant economic loss. The claims were levied as W.H.O. announced that they
are seeking $200 million in funding to combat the disease.
W.H.O.'s daily reporting emphasizes new cases, cumulative cases, and deaths, all
figures that will increase until SARS is eradicated. TARS maintains that these
figures provide a pessimistically skewed impression as to the progress made in
fighting SARS. They contend that more relevant reporting would give equal
emphasis to trends in the numbers of active cases (termed "current probable
cases" by W.H.O.). They note that since cumulative cases are rising and active
cases are declining over time, this perceptual difference increases.
TARS cites the following statistics, as of May 28, relative to cumulative cases
and active cases:
- Worldwide: 8,240 cumulative cases; 2,604 active cases, a drop of 30% from the
5/12 peak of 3,700 active cases.
- China: 5,323 cumulative cases; 1,962 active cases, a drop of 36% from the 5/12
peak of 3,068;
- Hong Kong and Macau: 1,732 cumulative cases; 167 active cases, a drop of 83%
from the 4/17 peak of 960;
- Singapore: 206 cumulative cases; 10 active cases, a drop of 85% from the 4/18
peak of 65.
TARS data reveals further that, except for in Taiwan, SARS is declining
throughout Asia. Moreover, other than the above-mentioned countries, there is
only 1 active case of SARS in Asia (Korea).
TARS Director Rusty Staff stopped short of claiming malicious intent on the part
of W.H.O. "While I cannot know their intent, W.H.O.'s SARS-reporting methodology
could be viewed as highly suspect by some, especially considering they're
requesting $200 million from businesses and governments. It's ironic that those
from whom they are seeking funds are the very ones that have been most damaged
by the SARS panic," said Mr. Staff. "The public needs balanced reporting to be
Truth About Reporting of SARS (T.A.R.S.) exists to encourage balanced reporting
on SARS and has been tracking and analyzing selected SARS data since early
April. Visit http://www.sarstruth.org (after June 1) or call Mr. Staff for more
information including summary data relative to the SARS outbreak.
Source of news:
Truth About Reporting of SARS (T.A.R.S.)
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