On another thread, there is a post questioning whether SARS is actually a new and serious disease and describing the reporting about it as "Hype". Let's set the record straight here. SARS is a new and serious disease that has a death rate many times that of the common flu. The death rate of SARS has been reported recently as being somewhere in the 5 to 7 percent range. The most recent figures posted today from reliable sources put the number of dead at 500 and the number of people infected with SARS at 7,000. My impression is that these figures are cumulative. How does the death rate compare with flu? The number of people killed by flu in the U.S. is estimated at about 36,000. Seems high, but the number of people who get flu each year is in the range of 28 to 56 million in the U.S. So the death rate is something in the vicinity of 0.1 percent, compared to the SARS death rate of at least 5 to 7 percent. A few minutes ago, my son said that newest figures on the overall SARS death rate were 15%. He also said that the death rate for those over age 60 is 50 percent. I have not personally seen these high figures reported but even if we accept the lower figures of 5 to 7 percent, it is clear that this disease is far more serious than common flu and could kill millions around the world. Is the news reporting hype? Not by a long shot.