Notes: Viruses brought down the Martians in War of the Worlds when humans couldn't do it. It was a fiction that symbolized the strength of a sub-microscopic virus. Today we're faced with SARS -- severe acute respiratory syndrome -- recently tagged to a deadly version of the coronavirus (also, corona virus) which you see illustrated in this week's Thadeus & Weez comic strip.

SARS is killing and sickening people indiscriminately and devastating Asian economies. In the worst-case scenario, it could spread worldwide. Already airport screenings are beginning in some countries to discover people carrying the tiny virus.The parallel to terrorism is apparent. However, the virus has no agenda, no rhyme or reason for the terror it's causing. That may be more deadly than a terrorist with a defined cause and enemy.

The following is from today's Houston Chronicle and is by Associated Press reporter Sean Yoong:

"We must use every weapon at our disposal," the regional director of the World Health Organization, Shigeru Omi, told health ministers and senior officials from Southeast Asia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. The health ministers approved a plan to boost screening at international departure points, bar travelers with SARS symptoms and require health forms for visitors from affected countries.

The worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, has been blamed on travelers in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and southern China, where the flulike disease emerged last fall.
"Should SARS continue to spread, the global economic consequences could be great in a closely interconnected and interdependent world," Malaysian Health Minister Chua Jui Meng said.

This viral terrorism will be fought by health professionals instead of armies and intelligence agencies. 04.27.03