Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Plague Hysteria Is, Rose Fertilizer

I told you the preceding Crichton essay to tell you this one...

As some of my readers here have noted in recent comments in the last few weeks, the media keeps reporting on the "ZOMG Plague!" epidemic going on in Madagascar (famous previously mainly for being the setting of a couple of kids' cartoons). As I've noted in brief replies, it's not a thing. But the media under-played the near-apocalypse that was Ebola, and now they're way overplaying the yawner that is another African plague outbreak. Folks, the two don't cancel each other out, and average to decent journalism. In fact, the media has sucked ass both times, and I will now illuminate the point.

Premise: The Media Are Idiots, and they lie reflexively.

Case In Point:
Drudge, today has two links to the plague stories dribbling out.

This one, beyond retarded. Beyond even fucktarded.
Cringe-worthy and beyond-fucktarded money quote (the reason Drudge linked it):
Infection and immunity expert Dr. Matthew Avison, of University of Bristol, has revealed the outbreak in east Africa is likely to become more serious before the "crisis" ends.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, Dr. Avison said because the disease is “extremely rare” it has been “resilient” to antibiotics.
“Because this disease is extremely rare, it doesn’t get exposed to antibiotics that often,” he said.
“That means it’s more resistant to antibiotics and the risk of death is higher.”
However, he said if antibiotics are handed out quickly then the disease “can still be treated”.
If Avison is indeed an "infection and immunity expert", he's been grievously misquoted. Or he's a raving lunatic jackass. There is no third option there.
And as we're talking Britistan, it could go either way.

Because the way it works is that diseases become resistant by too much exposure to antibiotics, particularly under-dosing, not by too little exposure. This is Microbiology 101 stuff, not trade secrets from Bayer Labs.

So the only reason antibiotics don't work is because no one did a Culture & Sensitivity test to see what kills this plague strain the best. Which is what everyone, even in Third World Madagascar, does. unless they're too broke, or morons.
(A C&S is where you grow the bacteria you're worried about on a petri dish in an incubator, and then, once it's thriving, drop little wafers of 2 to 12 antibiotics onto the dish in different spots to see what kills it at all, or kills it the best. It's something a C-student in high school can accomplish with minimal supervision.)

So, either the Star's ace reporter, Joshua Nebbish Nitwit Nevett, fucked the quote up by the numbers, because he never had so much as even high school biology, or else Dr. Avison fell on his head a lot as a baby, and got his doctorate the same place Dr. Jenny McCarthy learned about vaccines and autism. Put your chips where you like on that, but without more information, it's a straight 50/50 bet, IMHO.

Super bonus fucktardation moment, same article:
Scientists also believe the disease – which can kill in 24 hours – could become untreatable in the future if the virus mutates.
Boys and girls, if the plague virus mutated, it wouldn't be a epidemiological catastrophe, it would be a medical miracle - because Plague is caused by a bacterium, pictured at the top of the post, not by a virus. But the Star's resident halfwit doesn't know the difference between a bacteria and a virus, which is the difference between houses and houseflies. So if you can't get the basics of biology even remotely correct on the first pass, you're entirely untrustworthy and deserve to be the subject of ridicule for making retarded people look smart by comparison with reporters.

And then this one, doubling down on teh Stoopid.

A local news crew following one health worker in the stricken city heard doctors informing residents that the new strain of the disease “can kill in three hours”.
So, just to be clear, we're basing medical credibility on the recollection and medical grasp of the brighter lights of a local news crew, and hearsay given to people with a middle-school education, in a country where the median age is 19, where bare literacy hovers at 60%, and just getting to the 11th grade is considered to be a college degree.
(As Casey Stengel used to say, you could look it up.)

So no, plague - not even pneumonic plague - doesn't kill anyone "in three hours".
Nor even in 24 hours.
Even in a country where the concept of hours is probably lost on a population where 99% of them can't afford a wristwatch.

Even the bastion of scholarly scientific accuracy, Wikipedia, notes the following about pneumonic plague:
Symptoms include fever, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough. They typically start about three to seven days after exposure.
So, three hours...or did we mean to say 72-168 hours? One of these things is not like the other.

Oh, and that "resilient" plague strain?
Dr Avison said...old antibiotics developed decades ago can still cure the disease.
He said the problem is “access to those” antibiotics in countries with poor health infrastructure.
In other words, "Please ignore the ascientific frothing moonbat hysteria we clickbaited you here with in the previous paragraphs. We regret any inference that our raging journalistic stupidity might be confused with actual facts." - Sincerely, the Usual Gang Of Forty-IQ Clot-headed Mouthbreathing Idiots at The Star.

Oh, and a country where residents have an average income of under $1000 might have a wee bit of trouble shelling out $50 for a course of doxycycline? File that under "No shit, Sherlock!"

Something else that RoomTemp IQ Reporter at the Star forgot to mention is that in Madagascar (just like in Ebolaville, West Africa in 2014) the local custom of the geniuses there is to play with the dead bodies of infected victims. No, really. In Madagascar, they dance with them. Cheek to cheek. So as you ponder that, consider that the rhymes of "Ring around the rosie" was originally descriptive and commemorative of the Black Death as it toured throughout Europe in the 1300s, and not a children's playground rhyme.

Maybe you could update the Madagascar version to some Oingo Boingo:

For those of you inclined to panic or just over-prepare, a box of N100 respirator masks, a bottle of aquarium doxycycline, and a modicum of diligent personal research, will cost you under $100, and solve your plague problems, even if we start shipping infected Madagascar slum residents to both Disneyworld and the NYFC Subway by the 767-load tomorrow. It's that much of a non-problem in the First World.

And somebody should tell Drudge that the boobs on the Page 3 girls (in inches) are a higher number than the IQ of the reporters at The Star. As is generally true for any newspaper, anywhere, at any point in history.


RSR said...

Yesterday the Defense Dept paid for their first gender reassignment surgery -- or rather you and me and the rest of taxpayers paid for it...

RSR said...

Headline Hognose would have had fun w/: Syrian Immigrant Arrested for Raping Pony at German Zoo

LFMayor said...

Lord love a pony...

loren said...

Miss Hognose. If there was a God........we'd still have Hognose and some asshole would be worm bait.
As to the 3 hours; not to ruin a good rant but perhaps they meant 3 hours after the poor sob made it into care? Just saying.

Aesop said...

There is no way to work that and have it make any actual sense.
It's simply crap, based on stupidity and false information.

Reg T said...

An additional reason why bacterial infections don't respond to many modern drugs is because doctors get tired of dealing with ignorant patients who insist that their _viral_ infections be treated with antibiotics, even though the doctor has tried to make them understand viruses aren't affected by antibiotics, and he prescribes them anyway, just to get them out of his hair. This is so common that we have staph infections so resistant - like MRSA - Methicillin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus - to antibiotics that there are only a few antibiotics left that still (at least for now) work to kill the infection. (Vancomycin and clindamycin, and some forms are still susceptible to the tetracyclines, including doxycycline).

The Gray Man said...

Half of our patients test positive for MRSA of the nares. We barely give a damn anymore. Actually, scratch that. We DON'T give a damn anymore. We rarely swab the nares anymore.

Reg T said...

Gray Man, what's the demographic of your patients? My last job was working the VA in Roseburg, OR, and we had a few with MRSA. Maybe two (that were diagnosed, at least) in the eight years I worked there.

By the same token, when I worked in Southern Georgia, Brunswick had a large pool of drug-resistant tuberculosis, many of whom came up from Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean. Haiti, IIRC, also holds the biggest reservoir of HIV int the Northern Hemisphere.