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Shadow post to the Marburg and H5N1 viruses

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I remember the episode concerning H5N1 and how it peaked my interest in biological diseases. I think most people either typically ignore or wantonly refuse to acknowledge the danger that these viruses present. Both are currently appearing in areas and populations that until now, have remained relatively untouched. A first time discovery of the Marburg virus in Guniea in 2/2024 caused a global response. Both viruses were relatively unknown until 1967 (Marburg) and circa 1997 (H5N1). Luckily, outbreaks of the Marburg virus have been so far, relatively small. Unfortunately, the mortality rate once contracted is estimated to be as high as 88%. In order to provide some type of parallel, the Plague, or Black Death that ran throughout Europe had mortality rates as high as 75%. During the time of infection, the population of Europe was estimated to be 80 million, of which the Plague took 50%. Today, there are over 700 million living in Europe alone. You do the math. Viruses constantly mutate, and  Marburg is no different. It is an RNA virus, which means it is prone to mutations much like COVID-19, which have the capability of creating a much deadlier virulent and transmissable strain, although it is commonly agreed among virologists that mutations (if the virus kills the host, it dies with it) can but not always become more infectious yet less deadly over time.

H5N1 on the other hand, is slightly less lethal, presenting with a mortality rate of approximately 52%. Originally found in birds, the virus has mutated to include other mammals. Currently, there are no clusters of outbreaks among humans,  however, being airborne, any mutation that would be transferrable to humans would likely spread extremely fast through the population and create another pandemic, one where the mortality rate won't be 1%-2% like COVID (figure from the WHO), it will be nearly 53%. From the CDC, the following H5N1 statistics are as of 4/24/2024. Wild birds cases are 9,296. There have been 90,723,876 poultry found to be infected in 48 of 50 states, and 33 dairy herds affected in 8 states. So far, there have been only two cases of humans contracting H5N1, 1 from infected poultry (2024), the other from infected cattle (2022). There is some good news, as the CDC is studying the most recent case and has found that it is vulnerable to flu anti-viral drugs. They have already produced what is called a candidate vaccine virus that could be used in the future to make a vaccine....

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