The Cautionary Tale of Dr. Liu Jianlun

Let’s rewind and go back to the early 2000’s. Donald Trump was just a business man,and people were still scared of putting their personal details on the internet.


It also saw a global health emergency known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS and a Chinese doctor named Dr. Liu Jianlun, but we will get to him later.

SARS is a disease that causes high fever, muscle pain, and breathing issues. From the announcement of the epidemic in November 2002, until the World Health Organization’s announcement of the end of the epidemic July 9 2003. In that time there were 8,273 people infected with SARS and 775 people died.

Mary Kay Kindhauser of the World Health Organisation said of the disease:
“SARS is the first new disease to show the damage possible in a globalized world”

The disease originated in China’s Guangdong Province and it is here were Dr. Liu Jianlun comes into the picture.

Dr. Liu Jainlun was working with patients affected with SARS in Guangdong Province.

He then had to go to Hong Kong for a wedding.

While there, he stayed on the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel.

He was also infected with the SARS Virus.

While staying at the hotel, Dr. Liu Jianlun infected at least 16 other people staying on the same floor.

Those people went on to travel to Singapore, Vietnam, Ireland, Canada, and the United States.


At the end of this, over 4000 cases can be traced back to Dr. Liu Jianlung; 500 of whom died.

The story of Dr. Liu Jianlung is a constant reminder that in an ever interconnected word, there is always a cause and effect, and what happens over there can affect what happens over here. 

Header Image: Karen Hoffmann/Flickr


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