West Nile Virus and bioterrorism? - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-13-2002, 03:38 PM   #1
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West Nile Virus and bioterrorism?

I was sitting here watching CNN today, when I heard them say something about now there are questions if there is a possibility that the West Nile Virus may be a form of bioterrorism.

Personally I don't see this as the case and I don't feel threatened by the West Nile Virus, living here in north Texas we have already seen our share of West Nile Virus cases. But I suppose anything is possible with bioterrorism. Just thinking about this possiblity is truly scary.

I have done searches on the internet for this, and found several articles making the case for West Nile Virus and bioterrorism. It does however make you stop and think.

What are your views on this, and has anyone else heard anything else about this?
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Old 09-13-2002, 03:49 PM   #2
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All I know is that my friend is STILL sick with the West Nile virus.

Blarg.
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Old 09-13-2002, 03:54 PM   #3
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:01 PM   #4
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I thought that this virus is comon in North Africa. And with al the transport in the world it is quite easy to bring diseases and animals around the world. You can find black widows spiders in the Antwerp heabor and so a african muskito could bring the virus to the rest of the world ( esp. with the global warming )

I heard about a other kind of bioterror, it seems that some of the suicide-bomders in IsraŽl where infected with hepatitus B. So when the bomb goes off, lots of infected human parts flying around. Has anyone heard of it ?
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:21 PM   #5
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I was listening to a radio program about this. They had an expert on, he said it was possible, but not likely.

The American public over reacts to theories like this. There was a tremendous over reaction to the Anthrax scare. People were calling 911 because they had spilled laundry detergent on their garage floors or coffee creamer on a counter.


It is more likely that it got here on cargo ships, or airplanes.


Bonochick, I am sorry your friend is sick.
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:39 PM   #6
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If West Nile is all terrorists can come up with for bioterrorism, we should be dancing in the streets.

In my job I work with the people who have been monitoring West Nile's entrance to our state. I hear a lot about it. Bonochick, I don't mean to make light of your friend's situation when I say West Nile is not a major issue for humans. (Obviously it is an enormous issue to your friend.) Less than 1% of people who get infected actually get sick. Most never know they're infected. It can be very bad for the people who do get sick. A number have died this year. But as a means of terrorism it's extremely ineffective. It seems very very unlikely that terrorists are behind this.

As for how it's spread...it's been in Africa for decades and is carried by birds. I'm sure that's how it got to North America. Mosquitos bite birds and then infect other birds or people (and horses) when they bite them. But again, less than 1% of people bitten by an infected mosquito ever show any signs of illness, and only a small percentage of those who get sick are killed by it.
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Old 09-13-2002, 04:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
If West Nile is all terrorists can come up with for bioterrorism, we should be dancing in the streets.

In my job I work with the people who have been monitoring West Nile's entrance to our state. I hear a lot about it. Bonochick, I don't mean to make light of your friend's situation when I say West Nile is not a major issue for humans.
I understand. When I first found out my friend was sick, I looked up some information online, and most of the articles I found gave a number around 240 for actual known cases in the United States. Considering our population, that is a very tiny number.
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:28 PM   #8
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Re: West Nile Virus and bioterrorism?

Quote:
Originally posted by ABEL
I was sitting here watching CNN today, when I heard them say something about now there are questions if there is a possibility that the West Nile Virus may be a form of bioterrorism.
The post 9-11 media void needed to be filled Ė and a politician was ready to give a quick headline.
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Old 09-13-2002, 07:33 PM   #9
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There could be a link, but not from humans.

More and more people are parking their cars in garages, safe from the bombings of pigeons and other birds that love to bomb parked cars, especially after the owners of such cars spend their weekend hours washing their cars.

Secondly, municipalities around the U.S. conduct their own biochemical war against mosquitoes, sending specially-equipped trucks through neighborhoods in the early evening hours, spraying chemical weapons that are harmful only to mosquitoes. Even the military has gotten involved here, with the national guard sending Hummers into suburban towns that don't have the "bugman" trucks.

Perhaps birds and mosquitoes have forged a new alliance and are carrying out their own campaign against oppressive humans?

~U2Alabama
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Old 09-13-2002, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama

Perhaps birds and mosquitoes have forged a new alliance and are carrying out their own campaign against oppressive humans?

that's funny in a demented kind of way
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Old 09-13-2002, 09:27 PM   #11
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I don't believe it's a result of bioterrorism.

Firstly, because releasing viral progeny is a lot more difficult than one may think. For example, you can take a bacterium and put it on the table. Come back a day later, and it'll still be there. Do the same with a virus, and it will die. It is not a self sufficient entity and cannot survive. This is why viral spread through the air alone (minus vectors) is difficult.

Secondly, as crude as it sounds, it is a very ineffective way to kill humans. The only ones really at high risk are the ones with compromised immune systems (due to HIV/AIDS, recent organ transplantation, immunosuppresant drugs) or the elderly. The mortality rate is VERY low, and in fact, nearly non-existent for the population at large.
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