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Croatoan Pandemic? Report by the Winchester Family Biz Gazette
Staff escaping the Niveus warehouse a couple of months ago back have reported, in shock, about colleagues turning into bloodthirsty beasts. The WFB Gazette's Jaspala Wesson spoke to the survivors and dug deeper into the mystery of a behaviour some doctors have come to call 'the Croatoan Phenomenon'.
After being saved by a group of mysterious, armed men the Niveus personnel deemed to be safe - but are now haunted by nightmares and PTSD symptoms and the notion that not all infected had been eliminated.
If the fears of the Niveus staff hold any truth, thousands, if not millions of citizens may be infected with this strange new virus, CDC executives stated last week, acknowledging that the world could be on track for a pandemic. The virus linked to the disappearance of the citizens of Rivergrove, Oregon, has surfaced in Kansas and Chicago, but - so far - been successfully isolated. In its wake, the World Health Organization raised its alert, but issued orders to keep it strictly under public radar to not provoke panic.
The heightened alert came after the discovery of a significant viral depot at Niveus Pharmaceutics, hidden in swine flu vaccine as cover. Authorities began classified investigations to disclose the groups responsible. Suspicions of a terrorism act were quickly raised as such quantities as were found clearly indicate that the nation barely escaped an attack with the chemo-biological weapon this virus undoubtedly was intended to be.
Amanda Lee, once MD at a small Oregon clinic, today works on finding out more about this new strain of threat as head doctor of a top secret department of the CDC. Jaspala Wesson met with Dr Lee who had devoted years of her life to studying a once unknown viral strain today known as the 'rage' virus or, after a name found in the small Oregon town, 'Croatoan'.
The call for secrecy will be lifted in a few weeks, as it is announced, and every household is to receive information via television in the course of several months, starting on Sept 24th.
Thus Lee agreed to speak about Croatoan in order to try to prevent the panic she fears will ensue. Also, she says, she owes it to a couple of young U.S. Marshals who saved her about three years ago, hoping that her thanks would reach the gentlemen. Also, one of them might be vital to her research. 'I welcome this opportunity.'
â€˜The virus has not managed to go airborne', Lee states, 'nor cross-species. So far it only affects human beings. It's up to you to decide whether you like this or not.'
'If you measure the success of a life form by its quantity', Lee continues, 'then there is one clear winner: the virus. No other life form can be found more often, anywhere. If a virus was of the size of a grain of sand, all known viruses would cover the complete surface of our planet with a layer up to 13 miles thick.'
Since the discovery of the first viruses in the late nineteenth century, millions of different types of viruses have been described, to be found in almost every ecosystem on earth.
Scientists assume that the origins of viruses are to be found more than 3, 5 billion years ago, even before there were cells as we know them today. During that age a preliminary stage of life existed, consisting of certain genetic molecules, that was capable of doubling itself by attaching new molecular elements - with those molecules that were most efficiently capable of producing copies being successful.
At the threshold to becoming some sort of living being doubling processes were not perfect, yet, so mutations occurred, most of which dying out.
Some managed to exploit this weakness and use other molecules to double themselves at the other molecules expense - bringing to life the first ever parasites, the viruses, even before life as we think of it came into existence. Later, viruses adapted and took cells as hosts, surrounding themselves with a protective protein coat that allowed them to attach themselves to cells.
Shortly after the first molecules of life had begun to exist, evolution allowed the virus to exploit others, a very successful principle altogether. This, however, is a scientific hypothesis, as viruses don't form fossils, so, unfortunately, most viruses that have been preserved and stored in laboratories are less than 100 years old. Opinions differ on whether viruses are a form of life or organic structures that interact with living organisms, reproducing multiple copies of themselves through self-assembly.
'The phenomenon of Croatoan,' Dr Lee declares, 'leads us to assume, for the first time ever in the history of medical science, this virus might have developed some sort of planning structures, as its actions cannot be compared to those of other viruses. It's more aggressive, more elusive than any other I've ever seen. If I wasn't a scientist, I'd say, this virus was almost supernatural.'
Viruses do not have their own metabolism and require a host cell to reproduce. Most known life forms use cell division to reproduce, whereas viruses assemble within cells in a spontaneous manner. As they don't possess any kind of driving power they rely on sheer luck to enter a host organism. An influenza virus travels into another organism via mucous membrane. Dengue viruses enter the victimâ€™s bloodstream through a mosquito bite. The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of animals, mostly by a bite. HIV mainly enters a body through body fluids, often via sexual intercourse. None of these parasites, however, is capable of overcoming healthy, intact skin.
Lee assumes that 'the Croatoan virus is a neurotropic virus, much like the rabies virus. Except that it carries sulphur with it that disappears after a period of about eight hours. The early stages I encountered in Oregon needed a few hours of incubation time. The new forms we discovered in the dead bodies found at Nucleus Pharmaceutics took a mere five to six seconds. I've never seen anything so aggressive.'
â€˜From the wound of entry, the Croatoan virus travels rapidly along the neural pathways to the central nervous system, the CNS. From there it spreads to other organs. The salivary glands in mouth and cheek tissue quickly contain high concentrations of the virus as does the nasal mucus, any kind of sputum and the blood system in general, thus allowing it to be further transmitted in an efficient manner.â€™
Scientists have not been able, yet, to follow the course of Croatoan to the hostâ€™s death, so they claim, due to no infected survivors, but assumptions are made to the following: that the virus eventually causes death, with symptoms comparable to those of other illnesses including fever, general weakness, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, ravenous hunger for raw meat, increase in saliva, difficulty in swallowing, hydrophobia (fear of water), occasional bleeding from orifices, in particular from the eyes, aggression.