Guest Post - Chris Martin
Readers of the Bible are quite familiar with the concept of plagues. After all, the Ten Plagues in the book of Exodus details calamities ranging from hail, water, and darkness to lice, frogs, and locusts being unleashed upon Egypt. History buffs know about the plagues in Europe, from The Pestilence in the 14th century to the Black Death in the 1600s.
But could such a wide outbreak of disease occur in modern times?
The answer is yes - and it could potentially occur on a truly global scale.
A "Perfect Storm" of Conditions
That's because the circumstances that exist today are more conducive to spreading plagues than they were hundreds of years ago. To begin with, there are plenty of areas in the world where squalor and disease are rampant, and these "plague incubators" contain numerous fleas, rodents, and other infection-transmitting creatures.
Because of the frequency of air travel, these plagues can easily be spread thousands of miles away to different parts of the globe. And since diseases like pneumonic (Read More)....
Since the mid to late 2000s, the fear of contracting the "Bird Flu", or H5N1, has much of the Asian, African, and European landscapes in fear. As H5N1 has an approximate 60% mortality rate, millions of people will take what ever precautions they can find to protect themselves. Here are important facts to help keep you safe from the Bird Flu.
1. Communicability - Handling of infected birds in any manner runners an extremely high risk of exposure. The H5N1 virus transmits from bird-to-human whether it is physically handling the bird, droppings, or eating raw meats and eggs from those that are infected.
2. Personal Interaction - The H5N1 virus is able to move from bird-to-human quite well; however, the move of the virus from human-to-human is very rare. In the instances of those contracting the Bird Flu from someone infected, they were through prolonged exposure and close contact. Even whole families who have become infected were suspected of handling the same birds rather than interpersonal spreading of the virus.
3. Still a Delicacy - There have been no reported cases of infection from the H5N1 virus through consumption of cooked meat and eggs. Paranoia shouldn't overcome your love of eating a nice roated chicken or duck.
4. Death's Door - Thousands of people die every year from the variant of infl (Read More)....
In a recently published story by The New York Times, Americans were given a deeper look into and intriguing commentary on the evolution of the H5N1 virus – a virus that has killed 600 people worldwide in the last decade.
This news story, however, was a lot like the other ones we've seen in the past: a brief definition of the virus, a proposed theory on how it spreads, and numerous mentions of the fears surrounding a potential worldwide outbreak. Yet what The New York Times fails to touch on is why the world isn't having a much-more-open dialogue regarding the pandemic.
As many know, a controversial bird flu study was recently released from scientists at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. The National Science Advisory Board strongly ruled against the paper's publication, fearing that such detailed information about how the H5N1 virus spreads and its genetic makeup could lead to potential biological warfare.
Though deadly, The H5N1 virus is something most people can forget about in their day-to-day lives. Since it is not an ongoing event in the world, most individuals put it on the back burner and focus on picking their children up from school, getting dinner on the table, and achieving a good night's sleep. Should the H5N1 virus be something we discuss more openly? You better believe (Read More)....