SOMETIMES, an author simply does not want his/her work to ‘come true’. Such is the case with my fictional work, Armageddon Strain. In that book, a secret project existed to combine H5N1 with Ebola and release it into the United States to cause a panic that would result in the demand for nanotech ‘vaccine’ called the BioStrain chip. In the novel, these scientists (some willing, some blackmailed into participating, some later killed) created their aerosolized chimera in labs located in two sites: the southwestern US and China.
Now, in reality, we are witnessing an outbreak of a hemorrhagic disease that rivals Ebola in its virulence — pheumonic plague.
This outbreak has shut down some bus lines in China, due to the fear of human to human transmission. Pneumonic plague is caused by infection from Yersinia Pestis, a nasty gram-negative bacterium that lives its natural life cycle in fleas. Unlike its cousin, bubonic plague (also caused by Y. Pestis but transmitted when an infected flea bites the victim), pneumonic plague can be transmitted easily through coughing.
It’s important to remember that the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu (a type of H1N1) had a distinct hemorrhagic component: nasal bleeding, swollen black/purple tongues, frothing at the mouth, and bluish-purple or even ‘red current jelly’ presentation to the lungs and/or heart. Patients were often swollen, some so badly to be unrecognizable by even relatives.
With H1N1 mutating its way around the globe, one has to consider the possibility of a chimera emerging–either naturally or unaturally formed (a man-made plasmid comes to mind). As I say to Derek at least once a day: “If I can think of it, then someone else can, too. And probably already has.”
Here’s the article on China’s outbreak:
/SNIP/ Initial tests had shown that the herdsman’s dead dog was the likely origin of the outbreak, Xinhua reported late Wednesday, quoting professor Wang Hu, director of the Qinghai disease control bureau.
Wang said it was likely that the dog died after eating a plague-infected marmot and that the man became infected when he was bitten by fleas while burying the dead dog. He died three days later.
See also: Pneumonic Plague: Should We Worry?