Making News On The SARS Front

Karl Taro Greenfeld heard first about the vinegar. Just across the border from Hong Kong, markets were reporting a run on all kinds of vinegar as local Chinese sought the liquid in the belief that, when it was boiled, the fumes purified the air and warded off respiratory ailments. Karl, who edits the Asian edition of TIME and is based in Hong Kong, thought this was just another exotic story, the week's equivalent of Japanese schoolgirls selling their underwear or a neighborhood committee in East Java beheading a suspected witch. These dispatches, however, were the first media reports about the disease...

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