Coverup? Is SARS Already
Rampant In California?


Dear Editor:
I am a health care worker working in a North Bay Area hospital. Since as early as March, on my documented patient rosters, we have been seeing a continual pattern of strange "atypical" pneumonia patients.
The pattern is as follows:
Sudden shortness of breath, fever documented in charts as 100.4 to 102.2, ARDS, pleural effusions, cardiac effusions, diarrhea for 3 days to 2 weeks, pneumonia all with a grainy or nodule pattern on X rays, respiratory failure leading more and more to death after ventilator support. At first the patients presented with a viral pneumonia presentation, then they went to a bacterial pneumonia presentation, then they went into kidney and liver failures, then unknown septicemia patterns, and mortality increasing. We started out with compromised patients with underlying disease, especially COPD or heart problems, cancer history or chronic fatigue syndrome history or HIV as early fatalities in March. There is a strong pattern of repeat pneumonia patients worsening and readmitted from hospitalizations in January.
Then younger and younger patients with less compromise started getting the same patterns. We had a patient in the teens and one in their in 20's. Other health care workers, working in a children's ICU close by, report the same patterns and that they have lost many children to this pattern. How many deaths? We have lost up to 20 people on one shift in one month who have died with this pattern. As staff members we don't know how many total have died or who is keeping track of our mortality rates. The state licensing agencies have been notified as well as public health by concerned staff members filing complaints that their patient mortality rate is increasing with the same patterns. Infection control and isolation procedures have been incredibly lax as well as proper equipment in working with isolation patients, such as proper N95 masks not available or shoe covers for many isolation R/O SARS. Many of the patients who died were not even in contact isolations.  
Our staff has reported increasing, unexplained fatigue and diarrhea after working with these "atypical" pneumonia patients. Stewards attempting to get staff screened for symptoms or nasal swabs for viral infection have been ignored and disciplined attempted for questioning infection control policy or alerting staff to new infectious control SARS-LIKE patterns. We as several staff believe their is a cover up on an infectious disease with SARS-LIKE symptoms and that the staff members are being put at risk without proper inservice or protections to themselves. We don't know if this is ignorance, dysfunctional health care system problems, worries about corporate liability, or if we being used as experiments to see how this pattern spreads. None of us have agreed to be experiments or are being compensated as such. The hospital where this pattern has been a problem is in the Napa, Solono County, California. I am reporting this pattern in the interest of public safety without using or disclosing names of patients or staff or the specific hospital involved. We. as staff, are gagged from public disclosures of problems by corporate compliance papers that we have signed in the last six weeks that threaten a $10,000 fine, termination, or 6 months in jail for disclosing health care information. The policy is so tight that we can not even give a safe report to each other under their guidelines if we followed them strictly.
We do not believe, as staff , that this policy was designed or is functional for patient care, but was designed to protect the physicians and the hospital from mismanagement or liability issues without regard to public safety. Our hospital has continually refused to report it's suspect SARS patients to public health or accurately disclose it's numbers of SARS case under investigation, and do so only when forced to do so, by staff reporting to public health the numbers are not matching what they are seeing and working with. Many of our health we are concerned that a potential infectious disease contagious spread to the prison facilities would result in a horror of deaths to the prisoners. The California prison conditions are severely over crowded and have sanitation problems and many of the prisoners are already compromised with lowered immune systems now.        

Respiratory Therapist
From Victor Fletcher
Dear Jeff -
This California fever at 100.4 is the same as previous reports of mild SARS fever at 100.5.
This is similar to what I told you about happening to hundreds of thousands of people in the Toronto area; what I called pre-SARS -- this thing takes many forms, some not so serious, others being fatal as we know.
We had hacking coughs for two months, sometimes dry coughs, sometimes not; mild fever, aches and pains that moved around the body; for myself -- I had what I called "glue in the brain" when I had to stop work at the keyboard and go and crash for what I thought would be a short nap -- but the nap would turn into hours of sleep.
-- Victor
Toronto Street News
From Patricia Doyle
Hello, Jeff - I totally concur with the article on your website from California Health Care workers re SARS case numbers coverup.
What I have learned from MY PERSONAL experience with my respiratory illness is that doctors (to make a SARS diagnosis) are using risk factors of either traveling to Asia, Canada or other areas with SARS outbreaks, or the factor of contact with a person who traveled to SARS infected areas.
My doctor used these factors to rule out a SARS diagnosis. He found a strep infection via swab and ruled my illnesss "strep."
As it turned out, Strep was only an opportunistic infection, in addition to my respiratory illness. After I completed my antibiotic medication regimen, I found that I was still quite ill and had come down with more symptoms, that were not in keeping with a Strep diagnosis.
I have severe respiratory infection causing dry cough and, at times, productive cough. I had tightening of chest and lungs and pain. I also had muscle spasms which even included spasm of the diaphram. I also had sore throat and in the second week of the illness, had gastrointestional symptoms. Concurrently in that second week I had severe muscle weakeness, especially in my feet and legs. Additionally, I had VERY severe pain in my feet and legs. The muscle pain and weakeness was also located in my back. I had pain in my kidney area as well. Throughout the illness I had been running a low grade temp that vasillated between 99.5-100.5. The temp would always reappear in the late afternnon around 4 pm. At the very beginning of the illness I had tiny white blisters on the bottom of my feet, around the toes and ball of the foot. (the blistered area was itchy, but also painful and felt burning) I also had these small blisters on the underside of my hands, along with blisters in my gums and inside of my cheeks. The blister stage lasted only around 3 or 4 days. My feet, however, felt the burning sensation even after the blisters were gone.
I have been extremely tired from this ordeal and am finally on the mend now. During the illness, it would appear I was getting better, then a day or two later, the laryngitis and sore throat would return, bringing with it the severe respiratory/pneumonia LIKE symptoms.
Today is 3 weeks and 1 day since the onset of the illness. I can honestly say that this is ONE of the weirdest, quirkiest, and most horrific respiriatory infection that I have ever encountered. I hope tht I am finally on the mend.
I have heard that there are SARS cases in my area, being treated in area hospitals. This fact has made me want to ride out the illness at home and, only as a last resort, report to hospital. I know that all of the hospitals in my area are NOT equipped with isolation equipment or isolation wards. People who are in need of medical care provided by these hospitals will be exposed to the diseases being treated at them, such as SARS.
I am very grateful that I appear to be on the mend and finally recouperating. This has been a terrible 3 weeks and 1 day. I still don't know what virus I have been hit with, and probably never will.
I have questioned the low numbers of SARS infections in the US and assume that they are being undercounted, either by circumstance or by plan of the CDC. (more then likely the later.)
It is very easy to use linguistics to mitigate case numbers. As an example, we are able to say that we do not have mad cow disease in the US. We call mad deer disease chronic wasting disease and claim that there are no cases of mad cow. IF we can admit patients to hospital who are SARS infected, but write pneumonia on their charts, then we have less cases of SARS. In reality we don't have less cases, but only camoflaged cases. If the CDC were to accurately document SARS cases I am sure that the US economy would take a major down trend and this would be political suicide for the Bush Administration. The US can now take advantage of the severely disabled Chinese and Asian economy. (at the risk of public health, of course.) The CDC is encouraging doctors and health providers to do the ole shell game, or three card monty. Then again, why should SARS be any different from the other coverups that have been perpertrated on the public. Coverups appear to be the trend these days.
Patricia Doyle
From Anna Patricia Cairns
Dear Jeff,
>First may I say, I enjoy your site tremendously. I have made it my homepage. Thank you for maintaining and gathering such a wealth of information for us all.
I just read the article on the SARS coverup in the California hospitals and I don't doubt for a minute that the U.S. is not alone in this coverup. It is inconceivable that Toronto would be so incredibly unique outside of China and that deaths from SARS are not occurring elsewhere. I applaud the health care worker for coming forward and letting it be known that this situation is not a pocket disease that hits only in certain areas alone. As money is concerned, I don't doubt that governments everywhere are prohibiting truth. Toronto's estimating billions lost due to their reporting of SARS.
But mostly, I'd like to answer Victor Fletcher's remark that "Hundreds of Thousands" in Toronto are being hit with these symptoms.
I live in Toronto, and I have a very wide circle of aquaintances. I have a huge family that keeps in touch with each other. There are 5 million people in the Toronto area. This includes the attaching cities. I have not yet met or heard of, or know anyone who has met or knows of, anyone who has been afflicted by SARS. Believe me, I ask. Logistically, I would have had to know, or hear of someone who knows, somebody who is afflicted by this disease, if indeed "hundreds of thousands" of people have contracted some form of this virus.
I'm sure Mr. Fletcher believes what he says, but SARS is SARS. It's cold and flu season here and I don't think Mr. Fletcher should lump that in. By the way, I think I know of two people who have had the flu since this SARS business started. I repeat, The Flu. It's quite irresponsible of Mr. Fletcher to add to the hype by saying "hundreds of thousands" are reporting a mild SARS fever of 100.4. Many things cause a mild fever.
In any case, I hope that more individuals, like this valiant health care worker, come forth with the truth.
Thank you,
Anna Patricia Cairns



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