SARS: Neil Seeman writes how the media has fumbled the ball on SARS in Toronto, for (surprise!) both hype and political correctness:
Whatever the facts, the SARS epidemic will always be more about psychology than epidemiology. If we live in a global village when it comes to the dissemination of news information, then we live in a global cocoon when it comes to the dissemination of fear and rhetoric. The media have a role to play here, and must take it very seriously.
The essential problem is shoddy reporting. In order to make the illness appear more widespread, journalists seldom report on the attack rate within discrete, at-risk populations