Friday, December 24, 2004

Nature, the most deadly bio-terrorist of all

"Consider the basic facts: we have several strains of deadly avian flu infecting the poultry of south Asia and we have millions of people who keep chickens and ducks in their yards and huts in one of the world's most densely populated areas. On their own, these two factors are ideal for creating a deadly new flu virus. On top of that, we have the bonus factor of cheap, global air travel ready to whisk newly infected humans round the planet. And given that flu victims become infectious before their symptoms develop, the situation looks extremely dodgy, to say the least."

Between natural and engineered viruses (think "12 Monkeys" or "The Stand"), it seems virtually inevitable that germs will play a pivotal and grisly role as the human species reaches "critical mass," probably sometime in the next century.

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