Mayor Vaughn: I'm only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars. Now, if the people can't swim here, they'll be glad to swim at the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Long Island...
Brody: That doesn't mean we have to serve them up as a smorgasbord!
Last week, officials begin investigating a third cluster: 29 people who belong to a Roman Catholic sect called the BLD Covenant Community who attended a prayer group on March 28 and March 29. Two doctors who treated them were also infected. Officials asked 450 members of the group to go into quarantine.
Four percent of those infected die. Hardly the end of the world.
The most chilling moment of my medical career occurred in 1985, when I led a program to test incoming U.S. Army recruits for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. At the time, little was known about the emerging HIV virus or AIDS. As I began to analyze blood samples from the first 600,000 recruits, I discovered that HIV had silently infected a large cross section of apparently healthy young adults. At that moment I realized that we were already losing the race to control the virus, and that the human species was destined to be afflicted with HIV as a fact of life -- and death -- for decades to come.
Now, the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) threatens to cause another global pandemic. But this time the chances of successfully controlling the emerging microbial threat are far better -- and there is a real possibility that we can eradicate the virus before it overwhelms global control efforts.
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