Communion Of Dreams

Getting even.
November 27, 2008, 8:36 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Ballistics, Flu, Guns, Health, Pandemic, Science, Society

Once again, I have a mild cold.  Been fighting it all week.  It is depressing how many times I have had such minor bugs over the last couple of years.  And an indication that my baseline health stats are compromised still from being a care provider.  It’s for the birds.

Actually, new evidence suggests that the cold virus is from the birds:

Common Cold Virus Came From Birds About 200 Years Ago, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2008) — A virus that causes cold-like symptoms in humans originated in birds and may have crossed the species barrier around 200 years ago, according to a new article published in the Journal of General Virology. Scientists hope their findings will help us understand how potentially deadly viruses emerge in humans.

* * *

Human metapneumovirus is related to the respiratory syncytial virus, measles, mumps and parainfluenza viruses. It infects people of all ages but is most common in children under five. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever. Infection can also lead to more severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which can result in hospitalisation, especially in infants and immunocompromised patients. HMPV infection is most common during the winter and it is believed to cause up to 10% of respiratory illnesses in children.

“HMPV was first discovered in 2001, but studies have shown that the virus has been circulating in humans for at least 50 years,” said Professor Dr Ron Fouchier from ErasmusMC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. “HMPV is closely related to Avian metapneumovirus C (AMPV-C), which infects birds. Because of the similarity, scientists have suggested that HMPV emerged from a bird virus that crossed the species barrier to infect humans.”

A cautionary tale, and a reason why a lot of scientists and public health officials keep a close eye on Avian Flu (H5N1) around the world for evidence of a new pandemic.

Me, I plan on taking direct action along with my OTC meds.  I’m going to get even today, and enjoy eating a turkey.  It’s a simple matter of self defense.

Oh, the other thing that has kept me entirely too busy the last few days has been working on the new ballistics site mentioned earlier this month.  There are a couple of remaining tweaks to be done, but it is basically ready to go, complete with an associated blog, all the data, all the downloads, and over seventy pop-up graphs.  Sometime this weekend we’ll migrate it over to its own domain, but if you want an advanced look, feel free to poke around.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jim Downey

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