In answer to yours, the following inspiring piece is from the local papers -
New Straits Times, Malaysia:
When the deadly pneumonia sweeping Asia began sycthing through
the French hospital in Hanoi, doctors took a terrifying but instinctive decision to lock themselves away with the killer
virus to prevent it escaping into the wider community.
Thanks to quick action by people, such as a French lung specialist,
who asked to be identified only as JFC, the outbreak was contained but at a terrible cost - the lives of four members of staff.
Tears were shed as colleagues battled to save the lives of colleagues, and finally pride and a huge sense of relief enveloped the hospital as new infections tailed off after three long weeks and the dying stopped.
The outbreak of Severe Acute Respitatory Syndrome (SARS) all started with a 48yr old Chinese American businessman, who fell ill following a trip to Shanghai and Hong Kong.
"On March 2, we put him on artifical respiration. Some days later, some of the staff began to complain of shivers and headaches. We hospitalised some of them, then we closed the hospital, " says JFC, 45.
Blood test and chest X-rays showed that all had the same infection:
the pneumonia about which little is known except that it spreads fast and those infected can become seriously ill with lightning speed.
Overnight the care-givers became those in care, and a measure of
panic and fear began spreading through the community. Local companies refused to come to the hospital to deliver food,
and a support committee was created to bring in meals and other aid.
"We were locked up with the beast," says JFC, who travels from his
base in the south of France to work in Hanoi for one month a year.
"We were not playing with the fire, the fire was playing with us. We faced death. We played bridge with it, but it was not a virtual partner".
Draconian hygiene measures were put in place, but for some it was too late: two nurses, a Vietnamese doctor and a French doctor did not survive.
The lung specialist himself became infected. "Until March 9th, I did the rounds. On the 10th, I folded. I did a test, I had been taken," he says. He spent two days in a serious condition but eventually started recovering.
Two-thirds of the nurses and half of the nurses' helpers fell ill, but the spirit of the group remained strong. " We must salute the courage of the staff" says JFC. General practitioner Vu Haong Thu, 43, says: "We were very scared. But we did not have a choice, we had to work, to care for our colleagues. Those who were in good health saw others falling sick and their health deteriorate. We cried a lot.
But we had to encourage them, and for some, lie to them about the
progress of the illness," she says. "What we lived through, it was
like a war. Without force, without solidity, we would not have been able to get through it."
But in Vietnam, it seems to be under control. Hospital director
Yves Nicolai says: "We assumed responsibility (for the situation)
and we are very proud of that. We feel that if the situation is under control, it is because we were able to keep the virus within the walls of the hospital."
JFC adds: "What we are relatively proud about is having succeeded
in stopping the sickness". - AFP
BTW - SARS originated in Guandong province of China.