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newsweek blames civilization for dis-eases

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 pharms, 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.
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
NEWSWEEK


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.

homepage: homepage: http://newsweek.com

mainstream journalism 28.Apr.2003 16:19

heimdallr

Reasoned, balanced and accurate information from a respectable agency:

The fucking sky is falling!

>"many of the advances that have made our lives more >comfortable have also made them more dangerous."

Anyone ever see that movie 'Maximum Overdrive'?

>"surveillance is critical."

Yes, more surveillance! Please! Privacy is just a Communist plot to weaken us!

>"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?"

Maybe we should build a giant laser in space that can blow up an entire planet, then eliminate all forms of disease and danger for good in one fell blow. Unleash the Ultimate Weapon!

>"What would a reasonable strategy look like?"

How about we all hide in the nearest corner and curl up into a fetal position, emerging only intermittently to sneak over to our computers and buy additional supplies of duct tape over the internet with our credit cards.

Alternately, an effective protection against all forms of infectious disease (not to mention chemical attacks and "bio-terrorism") is to place a standard-sized plastic shopping bag over your head and face, then seal it around your neck with duct tape, making sure to close any openings or punctures that might inadvertently allow dangerous agents to penetrate your protective barrier. Do not remove this device until informed by Newsweek that you are no longer in any danger.

And remember to buy lots of duct tape. It will keep The Terrorists from reading your thoughts and learning your weaknesses.