Skip to comments.Anticipating the Next Pandemic
Posted on 08/04/2014 12:20:50 PM PDT by nickcarraway
BAD news is always interesting, especially when it starts small and threatens to grow large, like the little cloud on the distant horizon, no bigger than a mans hand, that is destined to rise as a thunderhead (1 Kings 18:44). Thats why we read so avidly about the recent outbreaks of Ebola virus disease among villages in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and about West Nile fever in the area around Dallas (where 15 have died of it since July). And thats why, early this month, heads turned toward Yosemite National Park after the announcement of a third death from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome among recent visitors there.
Humans die in large numbers every day, every hour, from heart failure and automobile crashes and the dreary effects of poverty; but strange new infectious diseases, even when the death tolls are low, call up a more urgent sort of attention. Why?
Theres a tangle of reasons, no doubt, but one is obvious: whenever an outbreak occurs, we all ask ourselves whether it might herald the Next Big One.
What I mean by the Next Big One is a pandemic of some newly emerging or re-emerging infectious disease, a global health catastrophe in which millions die. The influenza epidemic of 1918-19 was a big one, killing about 50 million people worldwide. The Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 was biggish, causing at least a million deaths. AIDS has killed some 30 million and counting. Scientists who study this subject virologists, molecular geneticists, epidemiologists, disease ecologists stress its complexity but tend to agree on a few points.
Yes, there probably will be a Next Big One, they say. It will most likely be caused by a virus, not by a bacterium or some other kind of bug. More specifically, we should
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The speed of international travel exacerbates this problem immensely.
Extremely relevant when the first contaminated wetback comes across the Rio or up through the desert.
So Typhoid Mary from West Africa flew to England and fell dead in the airport — not to worry.
BUT now WE KNOW - or do we - whether her NEGATIVE
was a FALSE NEGATIVE - or a real NEGATIVE - or WHATTTTT
at the helm, what could go wrong !!??