Headline June 19, 2017/ ''' *NIGHTMARE'S* NIGHTINGALES '''



*VERY QUIET, PLEASE!*  :   the Pakistani students, ever insulated  from real life,  by their all fearing parents, are resting. Their hard earned rest?

BUT ANCIENT GERMS, on the other hand are just waking and stirring  -and may just be,  springing back to life............

And lest you all forget, the nuclear disaster scenario that you keep hearing about all the time, is only, one of many such  threads in the post-apocalypse genre.

*One of them is medical disaster*.

So recent a past, in August 2016,  Brazil found itself right in the thick and midst of the  Zika  an  outbreak that the  World Health  Organization  [WHO] said had infected up to-

*1,5 million people*.

More than  200 health experts wrote an open letter at the time, calling the Olympic games to be postponed or relocated-  options that were extraordinarily challenging two months before the opening ceremony.

*The Zika virus came amid terribly trying times for Brazil*.

The crime rate was high, President Dilma Roussef had just been suspended from office pending impeachment, and the real had plummeted because of the country's prolonged economic slump.

University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran, one of the health experts, in an article in the  Harvard Public Health Review    that documented how  Zika    outbreak was flourishing,    Amir  said-

Rio had the most suspected Zika cases in Brazil, 26,000 and a rate of 195 per 100,000.

Professor Amir examined a similar  mosquito-borne disease, dengue fever, to learn from historic patterns how the relatively new  Zika  virus might behave :

''Since this year, when Rio began its intensified efforts against mosquitoes, dengue  has gone up, and not down,'' he concluded.

He said  dengue was an excellent proxy for learning about Zika since it is transmitted by the same mosquito species  -the Aedes aegypti.

''In the first quarter of  2016, there is  600 percent  more dengue cases than in the first quarter of 2015,''  he said,

''So all the promises that 'we've controlled it in Rio' are plainly false.''

And all the world renowned experts just  ''keep finding out  Zika  wasn't behaving like we had expected. The truth is that the world at large is still groping in the dark about these terrible nightmares.

And now onward to  *Siberian tundra in the  Arctic Circle*  for a nightmare in ice.

Without climate change,  superficial  permafrost  layers about  50cm deep melt every summer.  *But now in the Arctic Circle, temperatures are rising about  three times  faster  than in the rest of the world*.

Global warming is gradually exposing older layers of  permafrost, raising the  frightening possibility  diseases from  hundreds and even thousands of years ago to be resurrected-

Diseases that haven't been for so long that  mankind would have no, natural immunity to them,  nor the benefits of research.

Permafrost is an excellent preserver of microbes and viruses, because it is cold  and  dark  and there is no oxygen.

Bacteria meanwhile, can remain alive for up to a million years.

Then there are two other chilling realities.

First, there is the growing  anti-vaxxer  movement in some parts of the world, leading to pockets of epidemics of diseases such as  chicken pox that are entirely preventable.

The reluctance of the people to have their children vaccinated is based mostly on  misinformation, plus the benefits of  hard immunity    -in a population free of polio, for example-

The chance of encountering the virus is very slim.

But the high rate of modern travel and transport means that viruses and microbes are exchanged across the continents, and herd immunities are being compromised, to the extent that the-

Obama administration was considering formulating legislation forcing parents to have their children vaccinated.

Secondly, the   'super bug'   now seems a reality, and in 2015, the WHO warned that antibiotic resistance head globally reached such levels that are looking at-

''The end of modern medicine as we know it''.

Humanity is hurtling towards a  ''post antibiotic era in which common infections will once again kill''. The situation  has not improved significantly over the past year and half.

If such  nightmares  do come to pass, the very slim silver lining for the cynical is this that :

Humanity will have its own blood on its hands, since it is human irresponsibility that is causing both climate change that is melting the permafrost, and the growth of the super bug.

To sum : ''On Zika the world thought it was just women, then it turned out that it was men, then it turned out that you could get it into the blood supply-

Then it turned out that there were  neurological things going on that were different from just being born with a small head  -so it was clear that we really didn't understand it well.''

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director general said something similar at a press conference:

''The more we know, the worse things look.''

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Mysteries & Science '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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