Viral Times

A viral novel to inject hearts with hope and health

Archive for the ‘Virus protection’ Category

How to Survive the Next Global Pandemic

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In the world of Viral Times, not so far into the future, a global pandemic has changed us all. A virus triggers The New Flu and it evolves to H.I.V.E-5. AIDS Ultra follows. The government rounds up the infected and locks them into Health Camps, quarantined for secret drug testing. It’s only a few years into our future, those viral times. But in our today, Gizmodo is looking at how to survive such a crisis.

Our society is setting itself up for a global-scale disaster. Diseases, particularly those of tropical origin, are spreading faster than ever before, owing to more long-distance travel, urbanization, lack of sanitation, and ineffective mosquito control—not to mention global warming and the spread of tropical diseases outside of traditional equatorial confines. Accordingly, Oxford’s Global Priorities Project has listed a possible future pandemic as one of the worst catastrophic threats currently facing humanity.

And viruses are right at the top of the list of threats in the article. We have no way of defending ourselves with drugs of today. The advice on survival begins with storing away fresh water, and the writer adds, “You should also get the latest seasonal vaccine. It may not protect you against the mutated strain, but then again, it just might.”

Written by Ron Seybold

April 9, 2017 at 1:23 am

Corpses Present the Greatest Infection Risk from Ebola

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ebola corpseEverybody wants to be sure they know how the Ebola virus infects us. Studies show that skin won’t transfer the virus unless a person’s died of the disease caused by the virus. Casual contact with the Walking Sick — those suffering some of the symptoms such as fever, sore throat, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea — probably won’t infect you either. You just have to keep your hands to yourself.

A 2007 study from the Journal of Infectious Diseases took samples from saliva, from semen, sweat and bodily fluids of patients infected with the virus. Scientists were looking for specimens viable enough to grow in a petri dish. One in 12 saliva samples carried the virus. None of the skin swabs tested positive. In semen samples, two of the 38 samples tested positive. The one sweat sample? It tested negative.

The researchers concluded that Ebola transmission via casual contact is a low probability event. Keep in mind that Ebola is not an airborne virus yet, either. So how did the latest person, a doctor in New York City, get infected by the virus? Working with infected patients in Africa. Patients who are emitting blood, or feces via diarrhea, are the most virulent. Even dried blood can remain infectious for over a week.

Where on your body do you get infected? Cuts in your skin, mouth, nose, or eyes. Soft tissue openings always offer a pathway to any virus or bacteria. If someone with active Ebola is still alive, and those pathways of yours are protected, you should be safe. But once a person has died, even their skin carries the virus. Dead bodies, African healthcare duties — there are the elements that contribute to an Ebola infection.

That Journal study was conducted seven years ago. Viruses do mutate, and quickly.

Written by Ron Seybold

October 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Panic and Fear Drive Ebola Virus Responses

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The world’s most deadly virus is infecting our populace with two dangerous diseases: fear and misunderstanding. First comes the misunderstanding. Ebola is not contagious until a person shows symptoms. One of those symptoms is fever, but fever can precede a more commonplace flu.

gowning healtcareBut people on aircraft who show signs of flu will now be asked to de-board, in some places. Not official policy, just someone being careful. Too much care. Everyone on a flight where an Ebola patient flew — one who had symptoms, but wasn’t detected — will be tested for the virus.

In Texas schools, children who show up with flu have trigged a closing of their schools in the days that follow.

Misunderstanding comes first, and fear follows. Finally, civil rights are removed.

The Ebola virus can only be contracted by contact with bodily fluids. Healthcare workers have elaborate protocols to follow. The CDC is making those protocols more severe. Hospitals don’t have the funding or staff to follow the protocols that are in place. More elaborate protocols will be harder to follow.

Hazmat suits are sold out in major cities in the US. The only people who need a hazmat suit are those in contact with Ebola victims who are fighting the virus. Healthcare workers. But the suits are being purchased by plenty of people who don’t work in healthcare.

Sold out hazmat suits: More evidence of fear, driven by misunderstanding. This is the kind of emotion that drove the Patriot Act, which founded the TSA, which now demands we remove our shoes. Unless the passenger is under 12. Honestly, wouldn’t a dedicated terrorist use a child anyway?

So in response to Ebola fears, airline traffic will decline over the next several months. Smaller airlines, or those in bad financial condition, will struggle when they miss ticket revenues in this busiest of travel seasons. Fear is the most common symptom of a viral infection. It spreads to everyone who does not understand how a virus works, or how to protect ourselves.

Getting a flu shot is more effective than buying a hazmat suit or skipping school or a flight. Last year 52,000 people died in the US due to flu. Ebola has killed one person in the US.

Written by Ron Seybold

October 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Ancient medicines you can grow or spin

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Stromasys BoxAn article on the Slate website interviews a medical researcher whose specialty is discovering ancient remedies to diseases. One such remedy, broccoli, was so often prescribed that the Roman leader Cato advised all residents of the city to grow their own. In one instance it appears to have been used for colon cancer treatments.

Then there’s the spider webs.

In the world of Viral Times these are the remedies pursued, tested and used by naturopathic healers like Angie Consoli, the woman who finds the prospect of recovering love that she lost in the viral pandemics which sparked AIDS Ultra. Given the right cocktail of these healing arts, diseased people without medical plans sometimes survive without pharma medicine.

 

Written by Ron Seybold

March 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Chinese flu remedies have antiviral powers

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Chinese doctors have researched 472 herbs for antiviral activity, and 10 have antiviral activity. Patinia villosa, is one of the active herbs in Eurocel, a Korean product distributed by Allegry Research Group. Eurocel is to be taken twice a day, 2-3 capsules in each dose.

In his book Viral Immunity, doctor J.E. Williams reports that the active ingredient in Patrinia is a wild perennial plant used in Japan and Korea to reduce liver toxicity. Williams treated a patient with Eurocel and said the patient’s levels of ALT (Alanine aminotransferase) were reduced by 50 percent. In healthy bodies, ALT levels in the blood are low. When the liver is damaged, ALT is released into the bloodstream. The liver, of course, is the body’s engine for eliminating toxins.

Williams’ book is one of the dozens of volumes that make up the medical foundations of Viral Times. It’s one that bears some of the most numerous colored tabs, marking significant remedies. (The Little Book of Germs is another well-thumbed guidebook I’ve used.) In the viral times of 2020 — with pharma remedies just as ineffective as ever against viruses — more affordable compounds like Eurocel (about $4 a day) are a part of the healthcare regimen for the uninsured masses. With widespread demand for these compounds, prices may drop even further during a long-term pandemic. Patents don’t exist for natural remedies, so prices are lower. But the PharmAlliance combine keeps working to discredit and block such natural remedies.

There’s plenty of groundwork for PharmAlliance in our current day. Tamiflu, one of the trade names best-known to describe oseltamivir, is controlled via patent (and so much more expensive) by Gilead Sciences. Wikipedia reports

The patent held by Gilead Sciences and is valid at least until 2016. Gilead licensed the exclusive rights to Roche in 1996. The drug does not enjoy patent protection in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and several other countries.Gilead is politically well connected: Donald Rumsfeld served as chairman from 1997 until he became U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2001; former Secretary of State George Shultz and the wife of former California Governor Pete Wilson serve on the board.

No matter how you look at it, these board members have a proven history of waging wars in the name of defense and protecting the interests of commercial investors. Given enough of a public emergency, the potential for monopoly drug ownership during a wartime against viruses will skyrocket. And so can be born the PharmAlliance, a combine of pharma and insurers.

 

Written by Ron Seybold

February 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Herbs and oils can inhibit viruses

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Natural herbal remedies are on the medical list Angie uses in my novel Viral Times. I mention echinacea in chapters where this naturopath’s healing and protecting those with the New Flu, or even HIVE-5. It’s not a cure, but it can make it harder for viruses to replicate in a body where there’s a steady dosage level of echinacea. This herbal is taken internally, as a tincture, a tea, or even as capsules. Although we can’t know how effective the herb will become when it’s grown in 2020, the demand for a stronger echinacea is bound to spark some fresh breeding. It’s a lot like a Z-Pack of antibacterials — you need to stop using it for awhile once you’ve been on it, or its healing effects will be reduced.

Our world of the present is infused with these ancient remedies, ones we will come to rely upon as the insurance complex reduces the range of the populace that can afford traditional medicine. Lemongrass, witch hazel, slippery elm root, licorice, lavender — all these can boost the body’s ability to heal and repel viral effects. Look for them in a healing tea together. It’s okay, adding honey won’t inhibit the healing effects.

St. John’s Wort has antiviral properties as well, but it doesn’t play a role in Viral Times. The plant can suppress viral growth in cells. It’s applied as an oil when it’s most effective, and that’s going to trigger some fear in a society of 2020 that’s under siege from a touch-transmitted virus like HIVE-5. But we don’t have that struggle today. It’s got side-effects at high dosages that include extra sensitivity to the sun; sunburns are more likely. As an anti-viral, scientists have tried to separate the active ingredient hypericum out and put it in capsule form. But for the moment it’s only offered as a homeopathic remedy, meaning that a minute amount of the substance is used. And there’s tea, too, since it comes from a plant that grows throughout the US. St. John’s Wort has an classic history as a natural anti-depressant — and that’s also a state that will raise your immunity in Viral Times.

Written by Ron Seybold

February 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Bird flu goes airborne after modification

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20120108-182153.jpgA story in the New York Times reports that scientists are learning that avian flu has acquired airborne transmission ability after it was modified for increased strength. The experiments were part of studies to learn how the virus behaves. Now this virus can survive in the nose of ferrets, mammals whose nostril temperature is 4 degrees C cooler than a bird’s gut, where H5N1 usually grows.

The article points out that there’s a difference in ferret noses and those of us higher order mammals. One point cannot be smoothed out, however. The crossover point of animal to human is a step closer after this discovery. That kind of crossover is a prospect for triggering a pandemic.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Public health, Virus protection

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Israeli pharma promises immunity boost drug

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Cancers are caused by viruses. (So many diseases start with a virus.) A new drug might be able to treat people who already have a cancer, by employing the body’s natural immunity T-cells to attack cancer cells. No mention in this link about availability of the drug, but since it’s developed outside the US, approval can be much swifter. You’d still need traditional chemo/surgery for advanced cancers. But this is a novel way to get a pharma solution to ally with natural immunity. If you can afford the booster shots.

This is the kind of medicine that the PharmAlliance wants to create in Viral Times. There is the US government in the way of approving that drug, in my future of 2021. But for now, here’s the early report on ImMucin.

A traditional vaccine helps the body’s immune system fend off foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, and is administered to people who have not yet had the ailment. Therapeutic vaccines, like the one Vaxil has developed, are given to sick people, and work more like a drug.

Vaxil’s lead product, ImMucin, activates the immune system by “training” T-cells –– the immune cells that protect the body by searching out and destroying cells that display a specific molecule (or marker) called MUC1. MUC1 is typically found only on cancer cells and not on healthy cells. The T-cells don’t attack any cells without MUC1, meaning there are no side effects unlike traditional cancer treatments. More than 90% of different cancers have MUC1 on their cells, which indicates the potential for this vaccine.

ImMucin is foreseen as a long-term strategy — a shot every few months, with no side effects — to stop the cancer from reoccurring after initial treatments, by ensuring that the patient’s own immune system keeps it under control.

Written by Ron Seybold

November 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

Posted in Public health, Vaccines, Virus protection

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The future of naturopathic medicine

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Tabitha Parker

Utne Reader has posted an article about medicine that plays a major role in defense of viruses in my novel Viral Times. Dr. Tabatha Parker’s skill set is similar to Delta’s, as well as my co-protagonist Angie Consoli. They are naturopaths, 10 years into the future.

The global health care system is in crisis, says Dr. Tabatha Parker, founder of Natural Doctors International (NDI). It relies on the exportation of a Western model—one that doesn’t even work in the countries it’s coming from—to developing countries that can’t afford it.

Parker, a naturopathic doctor, sees NDI as a bridge between exported conventional medicine and centuries-old indigenous healing techniques, such as the use of herbal medicine, which in some places in the world is the dominant type of health care. “That has to be a part of the system if you’re going to actually reach people,” Parker says. Naturopathic doctors “are trained in a way that no one else in the world is trained: to be [that] bridge.”

Read more: http://www.utne.com/Mind-Body/Utne-Reader-Visionaries-Dr-Tabatha-Parker-Natural-Doctors-International.aspx#ixzz1dPVANRIL

Written by Ron Seybold

November 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

Haptics shows the steps to SafeSex

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One of the crucial concepts for Viral Times shows up early in the novel. In the first chapter of my novel the science of haptics, already well-developed today, has started to fill the gap that people create between themselves and communicable disease caused by viruses.

Given enough years and enough desire, haptics will offer the engine to drive the most serious home electronics device: The SimSuit. You only need to look at the Wikipedia definition of haptics to see how a well-built, broadband suit could help us reach out and touch.

Haptics is the study of touching as nonverbal communication. Touches that can be defined as communication include handshakes, holding hands, kissing (cheek, lips, hand), back slapping, high fives, a pat on the shoulder, and brushing an arm. Touching of oneself may include licking, picking, holding, and scratching. These behaviors are referred to as “adaptor” and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a communicator. The meaning conveyed from touch is highly dependent upon the context of the situation, the relationship between communicators, and the manner of touch.

In 1992 I worked as a computer tech journalist and followed an emerging video game experience that let players fight in role-play onscreen, their movements tracked by a sensory ring on the floor, surrounding them. Less than 17 years later we have the Nintendo Wii — so popular it was sold out for stretches of 2008 — and advanced enough to let us play sports with one another. Or Just Dance.

An article today in Fast Company tracks the fun quotient and sweat rating of Wii games. By 2019, an emerging crisis of viral times can create a very different, haptic kind of sweat.

Written by Ron Seybold

January 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm