Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some gloom and doom to go with that hangover...

I was leaving some comments at a right leaning blog when I saw a thread asking about the bird flu and weather or not this is some sort of "Media Hype". If I've misrepresented anything, could any of you sciencey types correct me?

It’s not exactly rocket science. It’s really allot like playing the lottery.

Humans have no natural immunities against bird flu; the only saving grace right now is that it is very hard for us to catch.

However, viruses often mutate. They also exchange genetics with other virii. If, for instance an absolutely worst case scenario occurs, and the virus hits a metaphorical jackpot (maintaining it’s deadliness and virulence while gaining the ability to spread as easily as the annual flu), it could grind civilization to a halt. The costs to businesses alone would be immeasurable. The number of dead another lottery of circumstance, anywhere from single digit millions to a billion.

Then again, maybe not. Or maybe not so much, as it were. That’s the trouble about how much to worry about it. Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers could be the same or much worse (Ebola kills 9 of 10).

I’d certainly recommend taking the threat seriously, if for no other reason than the fact that they can also be used as weapons. Doesn’t take much to incubate any of this and then attempt to release it if a dangerous enough idiot gets their hands on it.

If any of that happens, it’s going to make the threat of anthrax, insurgencies, conventional terrorism, even a single nuke combined seem tame.


Blogger Gerrod said...

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12:59 PM, March 19, 2006  
Blogger Butchieboy said...

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1:00 PM, March 19, 2006  

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