Life for the 40-odd scientists at Pune's National Institute of Virology (NIV) has changed ever since SARS arrived in India. Working round-the-clock in special masks and protective gear, they have been virtually living on the campus. Taking time off from his busy schedule, NIV officer-in-charge Dr A.C. Mishra, spoke to Outlook:
Why is it that none of the cases detected in India so far have been fatal?
It is very difficult to say anything on the basis of these cases. What we have seen so far is the lower spectrum of the disease. This happens in every country. India is not a singular instance. But in due course, as more study is carried out and more cases come to our notice, we will know how the approach needs to evolve. Because it is low spectrum doesn’t mean it is less serious.
Do you attribute its low-spectrum occurrence to the absence of a super-spreader?
We have not yet seen the super-spreader phenomenon in India unlike some Oriental countries. So far the cases here have resulted from secondary infections caused...