March 26, 2013

This Might Merit A Bit of Concern

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes brings us disturbing information from the exotic land of Tejas where researchers have made a rather worrisome discovery.

"Ubu. Put it back!"

They have found an unexpected empty space where a container of a nasty airborne hemmoragic fever is supposed to be.

Yes. A vial of Guanarito virus has gone missing from the Galveston National Laboratory.

Guanarito is a nasty hemoragic fever. Depending on which news report one looks at the disease has a human mortality of 20-30 percent. Low for a hemoragic fever but damned scary nonetheless. It exists in Venuzuela mainly in the rodent population, but unlike Ebola Reston (which is also transmitted airborne) it does affect humans and ' at least several hundred cases' have been reported over the years.

The officials quoted in the news reports claim that this fiasco is of no real concern. However, according to Wikipedia:
Because the virus is contracted by aerosol dissemination, concern arose shortly after the first cases emerged in 1989 due to fear of biological warfare. Potential biological terrorism agents were identified and categorized in 1999 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the Congressional initiative to further response capabilities to biological weapons [4] . Arenaviruses causing hemorrhagic fevers, along with a genus of virus called filoviruses, were categorized in Category A; these are pathogens with the highest potential impact on public health safety.

In other words, this particular virus is one of the very few Ebola type bugs that is spread like the flu, via sneezing, coughing and such.
It is therefore  one of very few such diseases that would make an effective bioweapon...

...and IT is the one that went missing.

Officials are claiming it is most likely a clerical error, that there is nothing to see here, and citizens should move on.

 UPDATE: Found picture credits for the "Science Babe". Picture (minus biohazard symbol) is by  Kiollion and is of an actual science babe. Riako Asakura is about the only person in Genshenkyo who believes in science and is from one of the early Touhou games.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:35 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I don't suppose there's a vaccine for said, probably a clerical error, doom-bringer?

Posted by: Siergen at Tue Mar 26 18:43:05 2013 (Ao4Kw)

2 I don't think there are vaccines for any of the hemoragic fevers.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Mar 26 22:07:04 2013 (+rSRq)

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