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Comment: Re:Killing the employees seems a bit harsh (Score 1) 43

So the employees didn't use protective gear during their work, and that got them slated for a killing?

They thought the samples they were working with were supposed to be specimens which had been killed and were no longer alive, so they got complacent and started letting technicians handle them without the proper gear and procedures strictly implemented to help ensure safety.

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 1) 172

by mysidia (#47440815) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

Giardia comes from animals, and is more dangerous than the things you "fear"

Giardia is a microscopic particulant and 99% will be removed with a 1 micron filter. Combine with disinfection using Chloride dioxide, and you have a very effective treatment.

It is much easier to safely eliminate the Giardia threat than medicines/chemical liquids such as alcohols which pass right through a filter.

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 4, Informative) 172

by mysidia (#47438837) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

not like the wild animals and fish don't piss and shit into our water

The concern is not piss and shit --- it's synthetic chemicals, such as rubbing alcohol, medications, petrol/motor oil, ethylene glycol; pesticides, fertilizer, and materials containing heavy metals or other toxins, that folks sometimes flush down the drain.

Some of these chemicals may be non-particulant, solvate in water, and have similar physical properties that water has.

Comment: Re:Time to abolish patents (Score 1) 73

by mysidia (#47431159) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

This is a fair question, and perhaps I would think differently in this position. I'm not in this position so my view is not tainted by my greed.

The patent holders often view the public as greedy. These other companies want to capitalize on their invention and not compensate the patent holder their 'fair share' for creating their 'invention'!

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 586

by mysidia (#47421123) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

the contractor supplied off-the-shelf nuts and bolts from a hardware store.

Sounds like criminal fraud.... I hope those responsible or the contractors' management are spending a long time in jail after paying for all losses incurred due to the failure plus the costs of paying another contractor to fix it and bring everything up to the spec promised.

Comment: Re: Patience, my pretty... (Score 1) 118

by mysidia (#47420821) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

merely acts as a spore carrier and infects a random stranger on the bus, the source will be that much harder to track.

It is extremely unlikely for any part of the samples to leave the lab --- they have required decontamination and washing procedures involving strong disinfectants.

The real danger is not that the potentially small number of spores that might exist in the lab and hitch a ride, but that someone will become infected during an accident and start producing spores.

What's at risk will probably be their life --- as those who might have been exposed are likely to receive additional vaccinations and be placed under quarantine and an extended stay under observation in a locked room after any accident which was detected, where barriers may have been compromised, to ensure that if they do get the disease, that it can be contained.

Comment: Re:Um.... (Score 1) 118

by mysidia (#47415811) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

We read the original books many of those Wikipedia articles have been copied from.

We still do, but they are not online: which makes them difficult to link to.

These days, if your content isn't coded in HTML, online, freely accessible, and linked by a reliable authoritative directory, such as WP: then you don't exist.

Comment: Re:"Security" (Score 3, Interesting) 118

by mysidia (#47413119) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

It's shocking to think that someone would carelessly misplace a vial of an airborne infectious agent with a mortality rate above 20%

We don't know for a fact that this particular copy of Smalllpox was one of the highly fatal versions. I'm sure this was not careless, as it was appropriately stored. They apparently just lost track of the fact that it was there and where it was, in terms of recordkeeping and careful management of the research specimens.

Seeing as the vial was quite carefully freeze-dried, sealed, and placed into the cold storage, in a lab where dangerous specimens would ordinarily be stored, requiring the appropriate training of staff for safe handling of such samples: it was really no danger.

Cold storage in vials boxed up is not unusually risky treatment for an infectious agent. I am sure if you looked at more dusty boxes in the cold storage at the various laboratories and regulators, you would find numerous examples of very serious highly-infectious agents, including plenty of examples of Ebola, Marburg, Nipah, SARS, West Nile, Poliomyelitis/Polio, Hepatitis, Pappataci (Yellow Fever), Measles, Spanish flu, HIV, Tuberculoisis, .

A common infection that killed more people in the 20th century than all wars put together.

Smallpox didn't start in the 20th century; its prominence in the 20th century was a culmination of over 500 years of infecting humans.. in the early 20th century, there were many diseases, and it's not so clear to what degree Smallpox actually cut lives significantly shorter than they otherwise would have been. Smallpox caused a lot of deaths, and there were highly virulent strains that developed, but most strains were not so highly deadly and not necessarily airborne either; Variola Minor vs Variola Major, etc, etc.... It didn't kill all the humans(TM) like the black death almost did, else, we wouldn't be around to talk about it, as Smallpox was very tenacious and nasty.... but not necessarily the absolute worst virological threat that we have known as a species.

Comment: Re: Patience, my pretty... (Score 4, Interesting) 118

by mysidia (#47412839) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

But for smallpox, given that it no longer occurs in the wild, the risk is unjustifiable.

There are some people, however... that should always be vaccinated against Smallpox:

1. Anyone working at the secure facility where these samples are stored; especially any lab workers, security guards, and cleaning staff.
2. Anyone working at a facility where the samples are used to study Smallpox are being handled.
3. Healthcare professionals, doctors/nurses/... that see patients and are occasionally exposed to people with various skin diseases or work in foreign countries where smallpox used to be prevalent.
4. Everyone that any of the people above are in daily contact with.

Comment: Re: Patience, my pretty... (Score 5, Informative) 118

by mysidia (#47412797) Attached to: A Box of Forgotten Smallpox Vials Was Just Found In an FDA Closet

but if we just preemptively vaccinate then city zero won't be an issue.

The Vaccine for Smallpox is not entirely safe, because the vaccine consists of essentially another virus called Vaccinia.

This is an infectious virus; the Smallpox Vaccine infects the person who has been vaccinated.

Unlike many other Vaccines -- however, there are significant rates of adverse reaction. Further improvements to the vaccine require human testing, and since the disease has been deemed eradicated --- no improvements can really be made:

Average 1 in 1 to 2 million people vaccinated result in deaths, many more people experience severe complications but don't die. If there are 300 million people vaccinated; then you could estimate that 300 people would die of complications. It is quite unlikely for you to be one of the 300.......... it's also unlikely for the Smallpox vaccine to help you against Smallpox in the future. Still..... the complications can be pretty nasty, even if you do survive. Most people should probably deem the extra protection not worth the more immediate very real dangers:

Post-Vaccinial Encephalitis: 1 in ~3 million people vaccinated. 25% of these: permanent neurological damage; 15-25% die.

Vaccinia necrosum: Progressive tissue death ("necrosis") at the original injection site. 1 persion per 1 to 2 million vaccinations; almost always fatal before availability of vaccinia imunoglobins; people with T-Cell deficiencies are particularly at high risk.

Vaccinia Keratitis: accidental transfer of vaccinia virus leading to lesions of the eye. Reaction: threatens eyesight, corneal scarring....

Eczema Vaccinatum. Too horrible to think of; people who already have some form of eczema, atopic dermatitis, or sensitive skin are at high risk and fatalaties have resulted in the past. Virus produces extensive lesions throughout the skin. Patient's life may be saved with early hospitalization and urgent treatment.

1 in 242 million vaccinated will contract a generalized vaccinia infection -- involving pustules forming about the skin distant from the site of injection and generalized rashes throughout the body; for some patients with weakened immune systems, this results in a toxic and potentially fatal course.

1 in 1 million people to be vaccinated on average, develop a systemic reaction to the vaccine which has a likelihood of fatal outcomes; people who have been immunocompromised or have a weak immune system are particularly susceptible.

Even more people have a severe adverse reaction which may be crippling or severe enough to give one pause about if one really needs the vaccine. Is it an appropriate risk tradeoff? What is the true risk of contracting smallpox VS the cost of taking the vaccine?

Successful vaccination always produces a lesion at the vaccination site, within 4 days, and it will leave a permanent mark which may be undesirable; this will be highly itchy, and highly infectious --- easily carried by clothing, and easily transferred to hands or other body parts to come in contact with it. Contact or contact with anything that touched the lesion may result in infection/lesions of vaccinia on other part of the body, and also: contact with other people ("inadvertent vaccination of friends or family, for example").

Weeks of malaise and discomfort after the vaccination are essentially guaranteed; the vaccine will essentially almost definitely make you feel sick, and likely for 3 to 7 days, similar to a cold.

17% to 20% of vaccinees experience a fever exceeding 100 degrees, during the first 2 weeks after vaccination, and plenty of vaccinated experience a fever exceeding 102F for the first 5 days.

Most people vaccinated experience significant irritation at the vaccination site: including significant soreness, and a variety of kinds of skin rashes plus myalgia lasting 5 to 7 days. More rarely: Stevens-Johnson syndrome results, in which necrosis ("tissue death") of the skin results, in a life-threatening condition involving the dermis of the skin separating from the epidermis.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer