Infectious Diseases
Full face mask and latex gloves. CDC scientists at the research center working under bio-security.

Armageddon Virus could Kill Mankind in 5 Years



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Full face mask and latex gloves. CDC scientists at the research center working under bio-security.
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"Armageddon Virus could Kill Mankind in 5 Years"
Caption: Full face mask and latex gloves. CDC scientists at the research center working under bio-security.
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Image by: James Gathany
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Like something from the pages of a science fiction thriller, scientists are warning that an unstoppable "Armageddon Virus" could wipe out Mankind. What's worse, their horrific scenario could play out not in 100 years, or even fifty, but in less than five years.

Shocking new trend

Virologists have identified a shocking new trend: deadly diseases have learned to mutate and jump species. Viruses that once were contained strictly to animals like birds, rats, pigs and bats are now transforming themselves to invade—and kill—the human body.

Investigations into new virus mutations and breakouts of fatal diseases have led researchers to the startling conclusion that viruses are adapting and crossing species faster than anyone expected.

Newly emerging viruses are beginning to spread so quickly that the medical protocols in place may soon become archaic. If that happens, then the human race is basically defenseless against increasing swarms of microscopic killers that can regroup and attack through various methods.

Recently, scientists rushed to determine what exactly was killing a stricken man from Qatar. The renown Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom embarked upon a frenzied search for the answer. They suspected the culprit was the SARS virus.

To their astonishment, after using a piece of high technology gene scanner machinery, they discovered the virus, while related to SARS, is a new form of the disease that originally developed in animals and now has found a way to jump species. Its genetic tracers most closely resemble a viral infection that afflicts a certain species of bat found in Asia.

Some scientific detective work revealed that the exact same virus had already caused the death of a 60-year-old man in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia during July, 2012.  

Medical professionals across the world were galvanized by the findings released by the HPA. The Daily Mail describes scientists reaction to the news a "a stark fear."

Some in the health community immediately began worrying that the virus, or another mutating trans-species disease, might rapidly develop into the next "Spanish flu," historically the world's biggest documented pandemic that killed up to 100 million people. That virus struck with little warning after the end of World War One and lasted through 1919. Researchers into the virus have concluded that the killer pandemic originally came from a wild bird that lived in marshes. The virus jumped species to humans.

The Doomsday virus: a cocktail of death

Virologists are wringing their hands and glancing up at the sky. Maybe they wish we already had cities on the Moon. The Moon, after all, is probably the only place to seek safety from a worldwide viral pandemic pushed along with prevailing winds. Add the mixture of densely populated urban areas, mass transportation and jet aircraft that jump across whole continents in hours, and the resulting recipe is a frothing cocktail of death.

Viruses that jump from animals to man are scientifically known as zoonoses. Those viruses eerily seemed designed to take advantage of the weakest parts of 21st Century civilization.

And the mortality rate of the viruses mutating from animals and crossing over to humans is skyrocketing into territory where it can go out of control and end in a death spiral for billions.

Human extinction by 2018?

The Daily Mail notes that "One leading British virologist,  Professor John Oxford at Queen Mary Hospital, University of London, and a world authority on epidemics, warns that we must expect an animal-originated pandemic to hit the world within the next five years, with potentially cataclysmic effects on the human race.

"Such a contagion, he believes, will be a new strain of super-flu, a highly infectious virus that may originate in some far-flung backwater of Asia or Africa, and be contracted by one person from a wild animal or domestic beast, such as a chicken or pig."

By the time health authorities discover the first cases millions might have already been exposed. The incubation period before the first symptoms could be days, even a week.

Once millions are infected the viral genie is definitely out of the bottle and within weeks—perhaps a month—most of the world will be infected.

The possible mortality rate? Viral experts like Oxford fear it could be 100 percent.

"Oxford, a world authority on epidemics, warns that a new global pandemic of animal-derived flu is inevitable," says the Daily Mail. "And, he says, the clock is ticking fast."

Doomsday may be right around the corner and happen faster than most think.

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More about this author: Terrence Aym

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.hpa.org.uk/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217774/The-Armageddon-virus-Why-experts-fear-disease-leaps-animals-humans-devastate-mankind-years.html