Don’t attend Guangzhou Fair

This is an urgent appeal to all would be visitors to the Guangzhou Fair not to attend the next session from April 15 to 30th in view of the highly infectious and dreaded SARS flu which is now rampant in the Guangdong Province in China with a mortality rate of over 5 percent.

The origin of SARS has been traced to Guangdong, China and it was first reported at the end of last year. Guangzhou is the capital of this province and it is very likely that SARS started in Guangzhou as the population is very dense at 12 Million. SARS has now reached epidemic proportions and there is no purpose in attending the Guangzhou Fair and risking the chance of getting infected as not only the patient will suffer but he will also infect the health workers in the hospitals in Sri Lanka who will eventually be entrusted with his care, including the doctors, nurses and others. So far we in Sri Lanka have been saved from this epidemic and I feel that the government should advise the general public who may be even now making plans to visit the Fair in a few weeks.

The count of fatalities from SARS has now exceeded 75 today and by the time that this letter is published it may have reached over 200.

My urgent plea to all would be visitors to this Fair is not to do so now as the risk of infection which can be life threatening is far too great to warrant the visit.
J. T. De Livera
Colombo 11