China continues to struggle to contain the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan. It has since infected over 1,300 people around the world. China has restricted travel. The death toll so far is 41 people.
The pandemic is inviting the memory of the outbreak of SARS in 2003. Several rumors have floated around the internet that fall under a conspiracy theory category, a very common outgrowth of the viral-content-driven internet economy. Statements have been made that the virus was released intentionally shortly after a patent was developed for a vaccine. The evidence persons sharing that information provide, however, is grossly misrepresented. The patent in question is actually for the virus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. SARS-CoV is the virus originating in Wuhan. It is a different strain of virus altogether. With that in mind, lets look at some additional concerns.
Guan Yi, is a virologist who was part of the team who helped identify the 2003 SARS virus. His opinion is that the Wuhan virus is going to be 10 times worse than the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which killed over 700 people.
In a recent interaction with the Washington Post, he stated, “A bigger outbreak is certain,”.
He explained that the SARS virus wasn’t as contagious as the SARS-CoV (Coronavirus).
Other claims have emerged such as FEMA requesting that the President declare a state of Martial Law, and Bill Gates profiting off of the release of a lab made disease and cure. This never happened in any shape or form. Again, this kind of shocking news helps drive web traffic which translates as ad-click revenue. If there’s a conspiracy anywhere, its first found with publishers like that aiming to brainwash you into sharing and promoting content that they can profit from. As a struggling new information outlet, it can be an itch to try and not scratch. As stated before, the internet economy is being driven now by sensationalism and viral marketing strategies.
I had to work with the CDC as a Medic in the Army in D.C. during the H1N1 outbreak. I can tell you a disease related matter of real-world things which border what fake news peddlers might bring up. Sometimes health organizations really do create fake epidemics and pandemics. It is because they know, specifically and credibly that one is beginning. So what they do is simply use the press to increase the concern by making it appear more immediate and/or widespread than it really is. The benefit is a strategic one. They are trying to control a health related emergency by getting ahead of its progression. When you get people vaccinated before the threat is surrounding them, you can do a lot better disease control and prevention. You can’t assume that is the case every time you hear of an outbreak in the press either. I would imagine they would have to forecast it with a great measure of certainty, before investing in doing so.