Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The next disease


So what's the next disease?

That is the question facing the World Health Organization (WHO). While such a thing is always pertinent for that organization to consider, it is doubly so in the aftermath of what is considered a somewhat lackluster response to last year's Ebola outbreak. This article in Wired made me realize just how mishandled the reaction was. It also made me realize how much the quality of writing at Wired has deteriorated, but that's an entirely different can of tuna.

The Ebola outbreak of 2015 killed over 11,000 people before it was contained. "Contained" might even be stretching it as Liberia saw three new cases this past week after a veritable "all clear" had been given on the virus. To better respond in the future, WHO will have an emergency center dedicated solely to outbreak response. The agency will also be accountable to an independent auditor. Perhaps more critically, there is call for scientists to more easily share data. It is through the comparison of sequences of Ebola viruses from the various victims in different cities that scientists can track the spread of the outbreak. In the case of last year, information on virus sequences was not made available for three months.

But this is the most pertinent quote that I took away from the article:

“It’s about the next pandemic. It’s how we get ready for the virus we haven’t discovered yet,” says Ashisha Jha, director of Harvard Global Health Institute

The next pandemic. I've mused about such things in previous posts. Now I'm doing it once again. What will the next pandemic be like? What will be the properties of this yet undiscovered virus? Here's where I get to be creative. I'm thinking about a contagious neurological disorder, something that directly affects the brain and cognitive abilities. Given my own behaviors and flawed thinking as of late, I think I have an idea.

A certainty virus.

It infests your brain. Then it congeals your thinking. Your thought process? No need for one. Because you're right. Further thinking and consideration is no longer required. Are you sure? More than sure. You're certain.

This begins to transfer from individual to individual. You thought the zombie apocalypse was bad? Just wait until you confront a horde of otherwise functional people besiege you. They don't want to eat your brain. They only wish to bludgeon you with their vision. Question them and they will respond but then angrily break off in aposiopesis. It's a hideous sight to see, folks. Trust me.

I've looked in the mirror.



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1 comment:

  1. As if on cue...

    http://www.cnn.com/specials/health/zika

    ReplyDelete