SARS = Andromeda Strain?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    Seems like everyone's got a theory, but this one, even though its a bit out there, literally, does have some interesting implications.

    http://www.space.com/astronotes/astronotes.html

    Its the first entry in the Astro Notes

    The only thing is that the 'researchers' with this one are going totally on theories and I don't think they'll be able to come up with any real proof.

    D
     
  2. Dale Sorel macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    #2
    Re: SARS = Andromeda Strain?

    Gosh, I thought I was the only one here old enough to remember that movie ;)
     
  3. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #3
    I heard it was a strain of the common cold...

    Hm... all very intresting... I hope we find a way of controling it before it exploded outside of asia.
     
  4. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #4
    Re: Re: SARS = Andromeda Strain?

    -Dale Sorel

    Nope!

    But do you remember the book?

    :D

    And here I thought I was going to poke a little fun at Duke :)
     
  5. Dale Sorel macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    #5
    Re: Re: Re: SARS = Andromeda Strain?

    I don't remember the title, but I do remember the author: Michael Crichton :D

    A very good flick indeed :cool:
     
  6. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #6
    the title was 'The Andromeda Strain'

    GREAT book. i read it in one night :eek:

    i used to have a thing for crichton books.
     
  7. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Location:
    State of Denial
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Whenever something that could go wrong doesn't go wrong (e.g., you find a backup of that file you erased), everyone in my family quotes one of the best movie lines ever. It came from the end of The Andromeda Strain, where the prerecorded woman's voice says, with no emotion at all, "Self destruct has been canceled."

    wav file
     
  9. shadowfax macrumors 603

    shadowfax

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #9
    Re: Re: SARS = Andromeda Strain?

    i'm 18 and have seen the movie... like 5 years ago or more. do i get a door prize? ;)
     
  10. Dale Sorel macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    #10
    LOL :p

    Thanks for the audio file :)
     
  11. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #11
    Ha, didn't realize that it was such a big deal about the movie/book. I read the book before I saw the movie, actually. Good stuff, one of his better ones.

    But it does make you think, the fact that its possible that the SARS virus could be from somewhere else. And if its linked to the common cold, well, like the Andromeda Strain, what if there was a mutated form of the common cold in Mir when it came down.......

    That was a bit of a concern at the time and that's sort of what I was getting at here. It all sort of clicked for me when I read the article, even though, like I said, its all theory.

    D
     
  12. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #12
    NYT Article

    Can SARS Be Stopped?
    By LAWRENCE K. ALTMAN

    Can the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome be stopped and the disease eradicated from the world? Or will SARS join a long list of other infectious diseases that stay with us, entrenched, at some level, in most countries?

    The answers are not clear. Although some experts contend that there is still time to stop SARS, others argue that it is too late for even the most effective quarantines to halt its march.
    Advertisement


    Even in developed countries like Canada, where government officials say SARS is not out of control, some health officials have said that SARS is probably unstoppable.

    Dr. Paul Gully, the senior director general of the population health and public health branch of Health Canada, said on Wednesday that SARS "probably is here to stay" and Canadians will "probably have to learn to live with it."

    Dr. Gully also said that "we don't know when it will be over and if it will be over."

    Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said yesterday that doctors will probably never be able to eradicate SARS although they should be able to reduce the number of cases and deaths.

    "What we can hope for is a suppression and minimization," Dr. Koplan told reporters in Hong Kong, where he is advising officials and scientists at Hong Kong University.

    "To think that magically this government or any government or any scientist in the world could stop this, like you stop a car at a stop sign, is very unrealistic," said Dr. Koplan who now is vice president for health affairs at Emory University.

    In many ways, the argument has some merit. Quarantines may not be 100 percent effective and can sometimes drive people with the disease underground, increasing the risk of spread. Also, at the moment, there is no effective treatment for SARS and, as a respiratory ailment, it can be much more difficult to control than disease spread through other routes, like blood.

    But others, while acknowledging the difficulties and the many remaining unknowns about this new disease, still hold out hope.

    Yesterday, two top officials of the World Health Organization refused to concede defeat and expressed hope that SARS could be contained if all countries maintained vigilance for the disease. SARS has to be viewed as a worldwide disease, not as one of any country, because its threat is so great to health care workers and systems in affected countries, the W.H.O. said.

    "We don't really have a choice" except to use all available resources to prevent spread of the disease to more countries, said Dr. David L. Heymann, executive director of communicable diseases for the W.H.O.

    Dr. Heymann also said the W.H.O. was deeply concerned about the possibility that SARS could become an added serious health threat in areas of Africa or Asia where AIDS is highly prevalent. The concern is that SARS could become another so-called opportunistic infection among the millions of people with weakened immune systems from the AIDS virus.

    The current SARS death rate of about 6 percent would probably rise if SARS were to spread widely in third world countries that lack adequate supplies of mechanical ventilators and other medical equipment that are used to help support patients with severe breathing difficulties from the disease.

    SARS has become such a burden on the health care systems of the countries in which it has appeared that the world "does not have the luxury of saying, Let's wait and see what it does," Dr. Heymann said at a news conference.

    "We have a chance, we believe, to stop this disease if we all work together," Dr. Heymann said.

    A main reason is that the pattern of spread of SARS, so far, has not been as vicious as influenza, which each year kills hundreds of thousands of people.

    Nevertheless, Dr. Heymann said "our fear is that it will enter into a country where those systems are not so good to detect it, a country in sub-Saharan Africa or in Asia, that it will spread widely before we know it is occurring there."
     
  13. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #13
    Can SARS Be Stopped?

    (Page 2 of 2)


    Dr. Mike Ryan, another W.H.O. official, said "the real issue is whether, from a public health perspective, you are prepared to make the attempt — and we believe we know enough about this disease and its transmission pattern to control it."

    "There is a chance that the disease can become established and remain in human populations, but we have an opportunity to break the cycle of transmission in this disease and we have an opportunity to put the disease back in the box," Dr. Ryan said.

    But, he said, "if you sit around and philosophize for the next three months about whether it is going to be endemic or not, we would have lost the opportunity."

    Health officials say that the highest risk of transmission of SARS is from droplets spread by close face-to-face contact, a fact that provides an opportunity to interrupt the transmission. Influenza, by contrast, can be a truly airborne disease, capable of hanging in the air in a room.

    Although there may be factors that will allow the continued spread of SARS, "we're going to give this our best shot we have globally to make sure we don't see this disease get established," Dr. Ryan said. "We have to be realistic in our goals and aims. That's all W.H.O. can do. History will tell if we are successful."

    One reason for W.H.O.'s cautious optimism is that 23 of the 26 countries affected so far by SARS have stopped transmission of the initial imported cases without significant secondary spread. The three exceptions are China, Singapore and Canada, the W.H.O. said.

    Vietnam, which was one of the first countries affected by SARS, may soon become the first country to contain SARS despite its rudimentary health care system, the W.H.O. said. Vietnam has reported 63 SARS cases, with 5 deaths.

    No new cases have been detected in Vietnam for 17 consecutive days. As soon as the outbreak was detected, W.H.O. sent advisers and masks, gloves, gowns and goggles to help in aggressive infection control.

    The real challenge is countries with much larger epidemics and populations.

    "Our major concern is China, where the disease is widespread," and where W.H.O. has sent teams to help the containment effort, Dr. Heymann said.

    China has reported 2,601 cases, with 115 deaths, and Hong Kong has reported 1,510 cases, with 115 deaths.
     
  14. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #14
    I am sure the SARS is as much a media phenomenon as anything. The numbers are rising, they may go far higher, but there are massive killers going around the planet in the form of malaria etc that dont make the small print anywhere.

    I thought the original link in the thread was spoilt by the fact that The Sun, who were given the story by the Sci fi scientists, are well known for printing "out there" stories with "hard to prove" facts. Maybe the avian flu came from the bird Elvis is shacked up with in his doubledecker bus on the moon.
     
  15. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #15
    Yeah, but how often does a traveler to Africa come back to their country and cause a malaria breakout? They don't, because it's spread by mosquitoes. I think the scary thing about SARS is that it has proven so communicable. It's the type of disease that without rapid action and quarantine could easily become a global pandemic.
     
  16. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    #16
    and anyone remember when all of the experts were saying that SARS could not be spread except thru physical contact? i'm always amused when the authorities are so sure about things they actually no nothing about...

    this stuff is scary and is really affecting the entertainment business( which uses toronto on a regular basis).
     
  17. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #17
    OK, here's a coincidence. Today I saw Michael Crichton, author of The Andromeda Strain, in person. He was speaking at the UCLA Book Festival, which I go to every year. I got in the standby ticket line and got in to his lecture. He talked for an hour, mostly about his views of science. I also talked to Kevin Fagan, creator of the Drabble comic strip, who didn't mention science at all!
     
  18. dethl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #18
    SARS = Next black plague

    I wouldn't call this the Andromeda Strain, I would call it the next Black Plague. My parents said that it would be very likely to see this virus kill people in the 2 million range before its finally stopped.
     
  19. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #19
    I am not trying to get into a debate about "my illness is worse than your illness", people are dying and that is not good, but sars is a virus transmitted by humans not mosquitoes, thats why it's high profile in the media. If mozzies got on planes there'd be few uninfected people left to write about the spread of malaria.

    The media coverage is a good thing in one way because it does at least highlight how vulnerable humans are and should give us a sense of our own mortality in the hitech sanitised age we are privileged to live in. Despite the unprecedented success on earth of the species homo sapiens, great swathes of the population can be snuffed out quite easily by a freak of nature, or whatever the source of sars turns out to be. I dont know what the world population was in 1918, but we survived a pandemic with 40 million deaths then and with that percentage gone we still continued to develop like never before.

    Im going to lock myself in my room now and Ill be out in a couple of months.
     
  20. MacFan25 macrumors 68000

    MacFan25

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    That is kind of ironic. Do you enjoy his lecture?
     
  21. MrBillGates macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Re: SARS = Next black plague

    I agree. The virus has a 6% mortality rate. If only 10% of worlds population became infected (~6 billion people now?) the you're looking at 36 million fatalities. Scary!

     
  22. runningman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #22
    It's a mutated coronavirus. You have to look at other viruses that do similar things. Namely influenza every so often you get a shift in the dna as influenza mutates when this happens you have a huge outbreak with numbers of people dying from the disease. This is what you are seeing with SARS a mutated common cold virus that has shifted and became more virulent. Treatment options? For a virus like this immunization would be the best option of preventing mass spread. The problem with a shift in a virus like this at this particular time is the mobility of our society and the ability to spread the virus to huge numbers prior to really coming down with symptoms. Scary extremly. But look at the numbers of people that die every year from influenza and we haven't seen a huge outbreak in years.
    Andromeda strain I always think of the flashing red light
     
  23. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    Re: Re: SARS = Next black plague

    It was interesting to hear Michael Crighton's talk (actually, it was just a one-hour question-and-answer session) because he's written so many good books and screenplays, and directed movies too, but I was a little surprised to hear him say he believes in the spoon-bending abilities of psychics, when the rest of his focus is on the emerging edge of conventional science. Among other opinions, he said that he thinks global population growth is slowing and will not be a long-term problem for humanity, that the harm of second-hand smoke has not yet been proven with enough certainty to warrant regulation, and that global warming is not a true phenomenon according to weather records he has studied for a new book he may choose to write. When talking about TV influences, he mentioned that he noticed that cartoons and advertisements share two characteristics: they are short and fast, and they greatly exaggerate what they show you.

    The international cooperation used in identifying this virus was impressive. They mapped the SARS genes in a matter of weeks after the first widespread reports, which is how we already know what virus family it belongs to. That gives me confidence that efforts to treat and prevent SARS will outclass what we've seen for previous "plagues."
     

Share This Page