Disease Vector

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megadeath was: Survey 3Q-1998 Author: cory hamasaki Email: kiyoinc@ibm.XOUT.net Date: 1998/09/28 Forums: comp.software.year-2000

I discussed mass death for an hour this weekend with an expert in infectious disease... one of my hobbies is morbidity and mortality. The mega-death scenario isn't driven by food, war, freezing, it's driven by sanitation, lack of clean water, a breakdown in the societal mechanisms that identify, cure, or contain infectious disease.

If the breakdown occurs and it takes out the disease control systems, these range from the CDC to your local health department, primary care givers, hospitals, pharmacies, sewage treatment facilities, etc., we end up with a situation that's never happened before, extremely high populations in close proximity and no support mechanisms.

When the Spanish Lady Flu swept the world after WWI, it killed tens of millions, more; in some places, 80-90 percent of the local population died in *days* of exposure.

I know most of you think the Flu is a joke disease, well, it's not. It can be mega-death and it happens so fast that you'll be carried away before the week is out.

And the Flu isn't the only spectre stalking us cloaked by Y2K, there's lots of diseases waiting for their chance, the list is long. In some cases, the vector is poorly understood.

This is a systems problem, staphylococcus aureus, Rickettsia Prowazekii, R. quintana... cholera, hepititis, salmonella, enteritis... they're all out there, held at bay by complex systems. Some of these systems will fail.

Systems... the Flu sweeps out of China, large population, poor sanitation, pigs and geese and people in close proximity.

But what do I know... I've called the health department on restaurants that 'do it wrong'.

Oh yeah, I'm not predicting a dying caused by disease... I'm reminding people what the term "pandemic" refers to and giving them another piece of information to factor into their plans.

cory hamasaki 460 days, 11,040 hours.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), October 16, 1998

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