Friday, 11 January 2008

green bugs

the novovirus
...has been doing the rounds this winter & it struck in my household this week

it's seriously not much fun (especially if you are 5 years old, but even at 43) & seems to just go on and on for ages

whilst not blogging I have been vaguely wondering about the environmental ramifications:

"Climate change affects the occurrence and spread of disease by impacting the population size and range of hosts and pathogens, the length of the transmission season, and the timing and intensity of outbreaks (McMichael, 1996; McMichael et al., 1996; Epstein et al., 1998; Epstein, 1999)."

this may or may not be the case here. is it a coincidence? (one of the warmest winters on record and an unusual early onset and massively increased spread of the 'winter bug' as it used to be known)

disease is associated with green semiotically; for instance this from Wikipedia on the 4th horse of the apocalypse: "The fourth horseman (on the pale, or sickly horse, which may be the source of the notion of "pestilence" as a separate horseman) is explicitly named Death. The Greek word interpreted here as "pale" is elsewhere in the New Testament translated as "green." The horse is sometimes translated as "pale," "pale green," or "green." The pale greenish colour of the fourth horse could mean fear, sickness, decay, and death."

there are much bigger, nastier, plaguier possibilities lurking in the wings, for instance a human variant of avian flu

and what causes their spread?
- overpopulation, overcrowded cities
- overstressed populations, poverty, poor health systems
- the explosion in plane travel
- climate changes which tilt the odds in favour of certain pathogens or their carriers
- environmental disasters such as flooding, famine

the other sort of bug to watch would be insects

combined they may be what wiped out the dinosaurs according to a new book that's been in the news

hoping to be back to more traditional green fare next week (& at least I avoided mentioning viral marketing - doh! well almost) & hopefully a tad less gloomy*


*& actually despite the ailment (which is only really, really bad at onset) I have to admit that in some ways it's been a really nice week, a collective family skive off the return to work, return to school moment

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