A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hemmorhagic Fever Outbreak in Russia

According to Itar-Tass, over 400 people have broken with Hemmorhagic Fever in the Voronezh and Lipetsk regions of Russia.

I assume this is Crimean-Congo Hemmorhagic Fever CCHF and not one of the more virulent types. Go here to see what this terrible virus can do.) CCHF has a mortality rate between 9 and 50% (can anyone explain why we have a mortality range?) according to the Center for Disease Control (Ebola Zaire has a kill rate over 90%.) This may not be the Last Plague, but it most certainly is an awful one.

The issue of breakout is one that epidemiologists take seriously, as evident by the near-panic over Bird Flu. I would be more concerned with a worldwide outbreak of a mutated form of CCHF; we know the vector (route of transmission) for CCHF (Democrats, er., rats), and it is a disease endemic to Russia, which suggests the possibility that the old Soviets may have tampered with it to weaponize it. If a version should appear with just a ten percent kill rate but that is easily transmitted person-to-person, you could see 30 million deaths in the United States alone. Now that would be a pandemic! What`s more, the manner of death from hemorrhagic Fever is so awful that it could incite widespread panic among the populace.

Fortunately, the HF viruses are ancient, not even having a DNA base, but rather being composed of RNA, and have a mysterious tendency to flare up for a time then vanish. Nobody understands why we have these episodic plagues, and nobody knows why they peter out the way they do, but it may be that they are only so virulent because they are rare, and the virus would not survive without going back into hiding. They are like Al-Qaida; they launch a spectacular attack then disappear. Perhaps HF will have the same fortune?

Still, the thought of a hemorrhagic Fever Flu scares the daylights out of any sensible person. Ebola Reston was such a plague; lethal in monkeys but benign in humans and transmitted through the air. Had Ebola Reston been contagious to humans, and had the USAMRID, the military version of the CDC not acted so decisively, we could have seen a major outbreak in the nation`s capital.

Genetic technology is developing at such a rapid rate, and the ability to tamper with the basic structure of diseases make it the prime danger for the 21st Century. I have no doubt that terrorists and their state sponsors are working feverishly on unleashing the Pale Horse from Revelation. When I consider illnesses such as CCHF, and what could be done with them, I shudder.

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