Re: Hoof and mouth disease: bio-warfare?

Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 02:19:36 MST

Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Maybe its just my paraoid streak, but with the reports of hoof and mouth
> disease spreading to livestock around the world, from Saudi Arabia to
> Korea, makes me wonder if this is not a planted disease by anti-meat
> forces....

The official story is plausible. Hoof and mouth is an RNA virus, has a
high mutation rate, and tends to generate new epidemics rather like
influenza. However, since it's RNA, your idea is actually testable if
somebody collects the various infective strains. RNA viruses
evolve so fast their sequence changes from infection to infection;
they evolve under your eyes, as it were. You can tree out the
viruses like a geneology. If the infection is being sown deliberately,
all the different strains will tree out like siblings or same-generation
cousins, as they don't descend from each other. If it spreads
naturally, it will have a more complex tree with parent-child and
aunt-neice relationships, *and* those relationships will match up
with contact tracing. (e.g., if a Cornwall strain shows up in Spain,
you will usually find something to have transmitted it)

IMO Argentina has the right idea - vaccinate. Europe doesn't want
to as then they can't identify infected livestock (vaccinees have
antibodies). Seems a pretty goofy case of confusing end and means.
I'm glad such people don't run tuberculosis policy!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:42 MDT