SARS Virus Treatments
At the time this book went to press, SARS did not seem to be a problem in Greece nor did it seem that SARS would be a threat at the Olympics or in the transportation to and from Greece. By August 2004, however, a great deal might have happened with SARS and presumably everyone will be well aware of that situation. Aside from SARS, the Greek Olympic organizers have committed all kinds of resources to providing first-response medical service for spectators as well as athletes. Medical personnel and ambulances will be in attendance at all events, and there are plans for speedy transfer to hospitals.
Since 1990, China enjoyed a steady growth in the number of tourist arrivals, with the exception of a decline in 2003 due to the influence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However, recovery was better than expected with a 26.7 per cent increase in the number of tourists from 32.97 million in 2003 to 41.76 million 2004 (see table).
In years past, when crowds were smaller and before the railing was installed, it was possible for two people on opposite sides of the enclosure to send whispered messages to each other along the wall with remarkable clarity. You can still experience this magical acoustic effect at the Western Qlng Tombs (see section 4 in chapter 10), but unless there's another outbreak of SARS, there's little hope of enjoying it here.
New Zealand has notched up a record year in tourism, welcoming more than two million visitors a year for the first time, despite international upheavals like terrorist attacks and SARS. Visitors contributed more than 5 billion to the country's economy, making tourism one of New Zealand's biggest overseas income earners. And we're better equipped for tourists. Efficient visitor centers abound, and accommodations range from budget to exclusive. You can shop 7 days a week, whoop it up at clubs and bars 24 hours a day, or savor a glass of internationally recognized New Zealand wine in an inexpensive cafe. You can get real coffee in as many variations as you can imagine, and New Zealand's fresh, innovative cuisine will leave you breathless and begging for more.
Lee Hsien Loong faces challenges as great as those his father dealt with, principally how to continue the momentum and maintain Singapore's astonishing success. The Asian financial crisis starting in 1997 and the SARS outbreak in 2003 both had a major impact on the country's economy and its sense of vulnerability to forces beyond its control. Though economically and financially Singapore is in a strong position, the migration of its manufacturing base to cheaper competitors like Vietnam and China has forced the government to embark on a radical makeover of the country as a whole in an attempt to turn it into a vibrant, modern metropolis.
Controversy continued to dog his time in office, however, most notably in March 2003, with the government's failure to contain the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic at an early stage, provoking a torrent of blame. The outbreak killed 299 people, infected 1755 and all but closed Hong Kong down for weeks.
In 1914, at the outbreak of WWI, New Zealand troops landed on German Samoa and the takeover was not resisted. But in 1918 disaster struck when SS Tahune, carrying passengers infected with Spanish influenza, was permitted to dock in Apia Harbour without being quarantined. In the dreadful months that followed, more than 7000 Western Samoans, 20 of the population, died of the disease, part of a worldwide epidemic worse than Europe's Black Death. American Samoa was not affected and their offers of medical help were refused. Anger at this mismanagement revived the Mau Movement, which used nonviolent tactics such as shop boycotts and refusing to pay taxes. The Mau slogan was 'Samoa o Samoa' (Samoa for the Samoans) and leaders met secretly in a converted German bandstand (p66).
The first independent Armenian republic emerged in 1918, after the November 1917 Russian Revolution saw the departure of Russian troops from the battlefront with Ottoman Turkey. It immediately faced a wave of starving refugees, the 1918 influenza epidemic, and wars with surrounding Turkish,
Purchase insurance from a broker, or directly from an online or telephone-based insurer, as it is invariably considerably cheaper than that sold by travel agents, banks, foreign exchange operations, or insurers at the airport. TRIP-CANCELLATION INSURANCE Trip-cancellation insurance helps you get your money back if you have to back out of a trip, if you have to go home early, or if your travel supplier goes bankrupt. Acceptable reasons for cancellation can range from sickness to natural disasters to a government department declaring your destination unsafe for travel. Insurers usually won't cover vague fears, though, and in 2003 SARS wrong-footed many travelers. MEDICAL INSURANCE For China, purchase travel insurance with air ambulance or scheduled airline repatriation built in. Be clear on the terms and conditions is repatriation limited to life-threatening illnesses, for instance While there are advanced facilities staffed by foreign doctors in Beijing and Shanghai, and excellent...
New Zealand has had a booming 2 years in tourism. Despite international downturns in travel because of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and SARS, New Zealand has welcomed over two million visitors for the first time. There has been huge growth in all tourism sectors, and the mood looks set to continue. The airlines, though, are still up in the air at least in terms of who's who. The proposed merger between Air New Zealand and Australia's Qantas is still awaiting approval Britain's Virgin Blue has successfully negotiated Trans-Tasman flying rights and United Airlines has withdrawn from New Zealand. Here's what else is new in New Zealand.
Several other crises in public confidence shook Bangkok and the nation that same year. Firstly, avian influenza turned up in Thailand's bird population. When it became known that the administration had been aware of the infections since November 2003, the EU and Japan banned all imports of Thai chicken. Avian flu claimed the lives of eight Thais - all of whom were infected while handling live poultry - before authorities got a handle on the crisis. By mid-2004 the epidemic had cost the Thai economy 19 billion baht.
The rain falls, Chris Patten cries and Hong Kong returns to Chinese sovereignty Tung Chee Hwa takes over as chief executive avian flu breaks out, killing six people and leading to the slaughter of 1.5 million birds in a bid to contain the outbreak Outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) kill nearly 300 people and bring Hong Kong to a virtual halt the economy is hit hard as visitor numbers dwindle to almost nothing and the city's residents stay home from work and school The financial crisis that had rocked other parts of Asia began to be felt in Hong Kong at the end of 1997. A strain of deadly avian flu, which many people feared would become a worldwide epidemic, saw Hong Kong slaughtering some 1.4 million chickens. Following on from this was the 'Chek Lap Kok-up' of 1998, when the much-trumpeted new airport opened to a litany of disasters. Hong Kong was making world headlines again - but for all the wrong reasons.
The SARS Story_ SARS hit Toronto hard in 2003, though not in the way most people think. The tourism industry was devastated by the World Health Organization warning against travel to the city, and by the many conferences and performances that were cancelled in its wake. While Toronto was undoubtedly the hardest-hit city outside of Asia, the SARS outbreak was limited to health-care facilities. Not a single person picked it up at a restaurant, at the theater, on the subway, or in any other spot a visitor might frequent. Furthermore, at the time of this writing, Toronto's number of SARS cases was under review, as it was discovered that several people with pneumonia had been grouped in with the SARS stats. This is a drawn-out way of saying that the SARS story in Toronto was blown completely out of proportion. It's one of the safest cities you could visit in North America. And while the famous folks who cancelled their trips got the media attention, many stars came to Toronto despite the...
Dan began his journalism career at the age of 17, when a pen-pal relationship with the editor of a punk-rock magazine led to a music-reviewing gig. After graduating from university and bulking up his CV with an impressive range of odd jobs (dishwasher, taxi driver, telemarketer), he launched Young Pioneers, an independent travel magazine. His first visit to Thailand happened during the SARS epidemic, when airfares to Asia reached (understandably) historic lows. Like Andy Warhol and Christina Aguilera, Dan hails from Pittsburgh, although he's currently based in Philadelphia.
There is a notional, usually nonexistent, health check as you approach immigration. Health declaration forms are no longer distributed, although temporary issues like SARS may cause them to be reinstated. Immigration forms are usually supplied in-flight or are available as you approach the immigration counters, which typically take 10 to 15 minutes to clear on arrival. Have the form completed and your passport ready.
The Chinese are phenomenally ignorant about sexually transmitted diseases, which are rife. As with the respiratory disease SARS, the government denied there was any AIDS problem in China until it grew too large to be contained. Estimates of the spread of infection are still highly conservative. Condoms, including Western brands, which should be your first choice, are widely available in Beijing.
For the latest information on infectious diseases and travel risks, and particularly on the constantly changing situation with malaria, consult the World Heath Organization (www. who.int) and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta (www.cdc.gov). Look for the latest information on SARS, which may continue long after the media have become bored of reporting it. Note that family doctors are rarely up to date on vaccination requirements, so when looking for advice at home, consult a specialist travel clinic.
In the 1990s an alternative pop scene - known as klawng sehrii or 'free drum' in Thailand, also phleng tdi din, 'underground music' -grew in Bangkok. Modern Dog, a Britpop-in-spired band of four Chulalongkorn University graduates, is generally credited with bringing independent Thai music into the mainstream, and their success prompted an explosion of similar bands and indie recording labels. Other major alternative acts in Thailand include the rock outfit Day Tripper, punk metal band Ebola, and the electronica underground group Futon, which is made up of British and Thai band members. Truly independent labels to look for include Small Room, Panda Records and Spicy Disc.
Ganja (marijuana) is everywhere in Jamaica and you're almost certain to be approached by hustlers selling drugs. Cocaine is also widely available (Jamaica is the major stop on the Colombia-US drug route). The street sale of drugs is a sad pandemic that has corroded society and led to frightening levels of violence.
Outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) have continued to affect commercially raised flocks, and humans in close contact with infected birds throughout Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization is concerned that the virus will mutate in such a way as to be spread from one human to another, creating a pandemic. At present, experts believe that the greatest danger of a pandemic resides in Indonesia, where there is concern that the low compensation for culling an infected flock acts as a disincentive to reporting. See p937 for more information on bird flu.
Full integration of Cape Town's mixed population, however, remains a long way off, if it's achievable at all. The vast majority of Capetonians who live in the Cape Flats remain split along race lines and suffer horrendous economic, social and health problems, not least of which are the HIV AIDs pandemic and high levels of drug-related crime. At the most recent local elections in March 2006, among the issues that helped the Democratic Alliance receive a higher percentage of the vote than the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were local government corruption, the rolling power outages in the city and lack of funds for the overstretched fire brigade.
Located in the town centre, the dock tower (Map pp62-3 Beach Rd) was constructed in memory of those who fought and were killed in WWI, and sits on the site of an old bandstand where sailors from incoming warships were serenaded by their compatriots. Its clock and chimes were a gift to the city from one of Samoa's most successful early businesspeople, Mr Olaf Frederick Nelson. It was donated in memory of Olaf s only son, Ta'isi, who died in the influenza epidemic brought to the islands by the New Zealand ship SS Talune in 1918.
The Fascists exiled writer and political activist Carlo Levi to this isolated region in 1935. He lived and is buried in the tiny hilltop town of Aliano, where remarkably little seems to have changed since Levi wrote his dazzling Christ Stopped at Ebola, which laid bare the boredom, poverty and hypocrisy of village life.
SWINE INFLUENZA frightening you? CONCERNED about the health implications? Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases! Stop The Swine Flu from Spreading. Follow the advice to keep your family and friends safe from this virus and not become another victim. These simple cost free guidelines will help you to protect yourself from the swine flu.