HONG KONG FLU * THE ETHIOPIANS * JJ 1185 * UK
The “antigenic shift” process only occurs very occasionally, but when it does, people are left with no antibodies to provide even partial protection against the new strain or virus. If this new strain is easily spread between people, then large numbers of people can be infected and a pandemic (a worldwide epidemic) can result. Pandemics are known to have occurred in 1918, 1957, and 1968, resulting in large numbers of deaths. In 1918-19 A(H1N1) "Spanish flu" caused the highest ever influenza-related death rate, with approximately 20 million deaths worldwide. "Asian flu" A(H2N2) took a hold in 1957-58, causing another worldwide epidemic. The first known strain of the type A(H3N2) virus emerged in 1968-69 and was known as "Hong Kong flu". Although still very dangerous, only the hemagglutinin protein mutated from the "Asian" strain, the neuraminidase protein remained as it was, so the virus was associated with fewer deaths than earlier pandemic viruses. In March 2003 Health officials issued a global warning about a virulent flu and pneumonia that has swept through hospitals in Hong Kong and Vietnam. The virus was later identified and named as: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). And while the SARS virus was eventually contained without reaching the epidemic proportions that it was feared it would, it did however give rise to fears over the use of draconian powers of containment introduced by governments in the name national health safety. As we enter the second century of big science with genetics placed firmly at the center of our understanding of life, it is becoming more apparent how important our biological body is, not only to the pharmaceutical and other capitalist scientific industries, but to economic, moral and political institutions also. The group Critical Art Ensemble in "The Flesh Machine" [see]: http://www.critical-art.net/books/flesh/ identified our biological bodies as "The last terrestrial frontier". This 'frontier', through 'genetic engineering', with its subtext of eternal life (and this also means eternal youth) will be easily colonized with a collusion of the above mentioned institutions now that they have the focus (the combined will) and the science.
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