This excerpt taken from the SOHU 10-K filed Feb 26, 2009.
We face risks related to health epidemics and other outbreaks.
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of avian flu, SARS or other epidemics or outbreaks. China reported a number of cases of SARS in April 2004. In recent years, there have been reports of occurrences of avian flu in various parts of China, including a few confirmed human cases and deaths. Any prolonged recurrence of avian flu, SARS or other adverse public health developments in China may have a material adverse effect on our business operations. These could include illness and loss of our management and key employees, as well as temporary closure of our offices and related business operations, such as server operations, upon which we rely. Such loss of management and key employees or closures would severely disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations. We have not adopted any written preventive measures or contingency plans to combat any future outbreak of avian flu, SARS or any other epidemic. In addition, other major natural disasters may also adversely affect our business by, for example, causing disruptions of the Internet network or otherwise affecting access to our portals and our games. For example, after the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, we suspended our delivering of online advertisements and our MMORPG operations during a three-day national mourning period.