from the real newsweek website that for some reson just popped up when i opened my internet because the computer is screwed up a little today.
How Progress Makes Us Sick
Advances that make life more comfortable can also make it more dangerous
By Geoffrey Cowley
May 5 issue — SARS may have dominated the headlines last week, but it wasn't the only weird disease on the World Health Organization's radar screen. In central Africa, an outbreak of the dreaded Ebola fever had stretched into its fifth month. In Belgium and the Netherlands, a virulent new strain of avian flu was wiping out entire chicken farms. Dutch farmers recently slaughtered 18 million birds in hopes of stopping the outbreak. Yet the bird flu has spread to several provinces and jumped from poultry to pigs and even people, causing 83 human cases. Most of the infected people have suffered only eye inflammation, but some have developed respiratory illness. One of them, a 57-year-old veterinary surgeon, recently died of pneumonia. "Bird flu virus was... found in the lungs," according to an April 19 statement from the Dutch Agriculture Ministry, "and no other cause of death could be detected." Sound familiar?
SARS. Ebola. Avian flu. The parade of frightening new maladies continues, each one confirming that our species, for all its cleverness, still lives at the mercy of the microbe. It didn't seem that way 30 years ago—not with smallpox largely defeated, AIDS still undreamed of and medical science evolving at an unprecedented clip. But even as optimists proclaimed victory over the germ, our megacities, factory farms, jet planes and blood banks were opening broad new avenues for infection. The dark side of progress is now unmistakable; many of the advances that have made our lives more comfortable have also made them more dangerous. Some 30 new diseases have cropped up since the mid-1970s—causing tens of millions of deaths—and forgotten scourges have resurfaced with alarming regularity. "Infectious diseases will continue to emerge," the Institute of Medicine declares in a new report, warning that complacency and inaction could lead to a "catastrophic storm" of contagion. So what's to be done?
As the SARS outbreak has shown, surveillance is critical. By spotting new infections wherever they occur, and working globally to contain them, we can greatly reduce their impact. But is preparedness our ultimate weapon? Do we know enough about the genesis of new diseases to prevent them? Could we avert the next SARS? The next AIDS? What would a reasonable strategy look like?
if you like take this corporate media train by clicking the link.
i'm gonna get off now cause i know where this train is a-headin. readin' orwell lately folks. bush reads like a bad satire.