Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Be afraid! On second thought nothing to see here move along.

Fearing Terrorism, U.S. Asks Journals to Censor Articles on Virus

This is absurd on several counts. First the information on biowarfare has been out there for a number of years. Entire governments have devoted great resources in developing the latest methods of mass destruction. It wasn't until anthrax scare after 911 that anyone paid much attention to the biological and chemical weapons. Why? Because those items had been outlawed by international agreements. First in 1975 with the biologicals and then again in 1993 with chemical weapons when George H.W. Bush signed agreements. A great many of the huge stock piles are gone. One weapon I hope they finish destroying is the Vx gas our military is holding. It is the most tenacious stuff to remediate taking weeks to neutralize should it ever be used.
But now we have a dearth of natural viruses coming at us but government agencies are worried that should that information fall into the wrong hands a pandemic of epic proportions could result.
I find that bit of information amusing because being tied to the field in a round about way, we didn't get any training in dealing with a possible event until four years after the first anthrax attacks and even then it was very minimal. Only the very basic knowledge of health effects and protection methods were presented. I've had biohazard training once before but never to a level of a national emergency event. I find their lag in training an indication that they weren't as worried about the situation as they would have you believe. I found out some time later that I was on a national list should such an emergency happen. Thanks for telling me guys.

The governments' biggest fear right now is that some group will weaponize the SARS virus (bird flu). But I'd say if they haven't done this by now then it probably won't happen. Yes you may see the generic loon try to wreck havoc in the name of their cause but I'd be more afraid of catching a case of salmonella or e-coli at the local supermarket from produce or meat.

The thought had crossed my mind that they could easily get hold of one of the hemorrhagic viruses known as VHFs which are 100% fatal but the drawback for them is getting it into the country without detection as most of those viruses are carried by an animal host. Merely injecting a suicide subject with a deadly strain would show up rather quickly on an international flight. The symptoms come on rather fast and are quite obvious starting with a high fever. Airports are wise and have heat scanning detection equipment.

So after all the scare tactics I find that most situations could have be dealt with in a fairly timely manner even if the powers that be weren't the brightest bulbs in the bunch. Much of the terror warnings are just psychological scare tactics anyway. More damage is done by panic and lack of knowledge than facing something head on and actually understanding things. And here's a laugh. Dick Cheney used to carry around with him a top of the line haz mat suit at all times. Hum did he stop to think that there'd be no one around when he ran out of air and needed a refill tank? Not too bright Dicky.


an average patriot said...

I was stunned this morning when I heard about the new virus they created. Man they frigging published it. You can bet your rear the Chinese were right on it and already have the info. Watch it be used against us. We are so screwed up!

S.W. Anderson said...

Asking the Dutch scientist to keep his methodology in converting the SARS virus to himself makes sense. So does seeing to it he's not abducted. But both those things are only stopgap measures. If evil people are determined to do the same kind of gene alterations, they can and will keep trying until they do it. Science can't be kept secret. Didn't work with A-bombs and H-bombs. Won't work with viruss, either.

I do think it would be worthwhile for public health authorities to ask the Dutch researcher why he did this gene alteration of a virus. It's not like we don't have enough pathogens to deal with already.

Demeur, Dick Cheney in a hazmat suit brings to mind garbage in a plastic bag. Pull the drawstring tight and it's off to the Dumpster with it. ;)

BBC said...

I'm all for someone finding a way to get rid of half of us.

Randal Graves said...

Are you saying none of these pathogens or radiation will give us superpowers?

Demeur said...

Oh Jim you would have to assume the Chinese are working on such things. They're far cheaper than any nuclear weapons program.

SW that's a laugh. Never thought about that way. :-)

Don't worry Billy nature will probably wipe out most of us.

I can see it now Randal a 50 ft tall radioactive librarian combing the streets of Clevelandia looking for book scofflaws.

The Blog Fodder said...

Whether we invent it or nature does it for us, I think Demeur is right, something will come along and wipe out 1/4 to 3/4 of the population of the earth. 14th century all over again. It will be fast and furious, burning itself out when there is no one left to infect. It has happened before but the world had fewer people. Now, It is hard to say when it might stop.
I missed the news about the Dutch remake of the SARS virus.