Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bringing the Pandemic Straight To You!

Well, it's official. I have the bird flu. No, I really mean it. Look at the facts: 1.)While visiting San Francisco I was in Chinatown, 2.) Last Sunday, before the onset of bird flu, I visited a Japanese restaurant, and 3.) I like fried chicken. Clearly, the asiatic influences have gotten the better of my immune system.

All jesting aside, although I actually do have the flu, this bird flu situation is both scary and irritating. Scary because pandemics are generally bad; irritating because the news people don't understand anything about molecular biology. Now, I can't count a degree in advanced immunology among my personal achievements, but one thing I do know is that viruses tend to stay in a species until it adapts to the defenses of a new creature and then moves in. Once it has moved in, then it begins to become a new subspecies of the original. This is relevant given the fact that people are trying to make vaccines for a virus that currently hasn't made the full jump to humans, and when that virus does jump, will be different from the virus the vaccine was derived from. Hence, it will probably be worthless.

Why did I post this chipper piece of info.? Because if I have to lay around nauseated and feverish and miserable, then the rest of you are going to get a little taste of it too.

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