1pan·dem·icadjective \pan-ˈde-mik\: occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population <pandemicmalaria>
I saw a news ticker running across the screen this morning and one thought lead to another.
The ticker stated the State of California has taken responsibility for the death of thirteen inmates in their care. The illness known as Valley Fever killed these inmates in two prisons and sent dozens of others to their hospital facilities. Valley Fever had a familiar ring to it, maybe something I remembered from the sixties? A Gunsmoke episode and a quarantine maybe?
I Googled it. Valley fever is an infection of the lungs caused by a fungal infection (Coccidioidomycosis) . It lays dormant in the ground in certain specific regions( mainly our Southwest states). It comes back to life after a dry season and forms a mold that breaks off and is inhaled causing the painful red rash and flu like symptoms. It can be life threatening, but when caught in time is quite curable. Treatment begins with bed rest and fluids. It does not travel from human to human but is a threat to humans exposed to the spores in an enclosed area. The main danger is the assault on the lungs. People in Florida are really at no real risk. Someone would have to travel to the Southwest and return with the spores in them. NOT a pandemic or cause of one, just a news ticker!
I also have a crystal clear recollection of the first time the local 'news' got hold of the SARS story in 2004. Two of my clients started hoarding canned food. They wanted to make sure they had food when everyone was dropping likes flies. Unfortunately, those cans are still in their garage cabinets rusting away. The truly unfortunate part is those clients are completely desensitized to warnings of any kind and they no longer prep for anything.
The SARS outbreak of 2003
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 8,098 people worldwide became sick with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Of these, 774 died. In the United States, only eight people had laboratory evidence of SARS-CoV infection. All of these people had traveled to other parts of the world with SARS. SARS did not spread more widely in the community in the United States.
All this made me think back to the first disaster/survival scenario I ever saw portrayed on television. It was an enactment following a family and their potential for surviving a pandemic. By the time the family bugged out, they had no food supplies, no spare gas, no weapons of protection. It was through the miracle of television that these people made it to a retreat community. The guy died of sepsis years later. In the TEOTWAWKI world, the pandemic had run its course and a scratch untreated without medicine killed the character.
Because sepsis can begin in different parts of the body, it can have many different symptoms. Rapid breathing and a change in mental status, such as reduced alertness or confusion, may be the first signs that sepsis is starting. Other common symptoms include:
- Fever and shaking chills or, alternatively, a very low body temperature
- Decreased urination
- Rapid pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
Sepsis treatment usually begins with:
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which kill many types of bacteria
- IV fluids to maintain blood pressure
- Oxygen to maintain normal blood oxygen
I hope others can learn from these parables. News tickers are teasers. Research must be done. Memories must be cleared and replaced with facts. Facts must be acted upon, even if only to make a plan. Calm is the key to survival. Often once a scare has passed, it cannot be replaced with laziness or lethargy. Remember December 21st? IT passed quietly. We still prep. We aren't here for the fame or the fad. We are here to survive.