The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) class of viruses has been getting all the press lately. That’s understandable during a pandemic. The disease has been traveling the world on it’s globe hopping human hosts. There are speculations it was created in a lab and accidentally released. In this New York Post story it is claimed researchers often sold their lab animals at the nearby market for consumption. This Investment Watch article gives details on the statements of some Chinese scientists.
The World Health Organization currently claims a death rate of approximately 3.4%. That’s much lower than the numbers from the earlier SARS viruses. The SARS outbreak in 2003 had a fatality rate of about 11%. The MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2012 fatality rate was less than 30%. Most of the deaths were among the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. This is inline with research on diseases in the past; the virulence of a disease is indirectly proportional to it’s ability to spread through a population. The current fear level is related to it’s ability to spread more than it’s ability to kill.
3.4% doesn’t sound like much, but compared with common influenza’s fatality rate of 0.5% it’s significant. It isn’t going to affect the world population much. If every person (7.3 billion) in the world caught the disease 248.2 million people would die. At the current world birthrate of 256 per minute, it would take 674 days (2 years) for our population to catch up with the loss. If you think this is a conspiracy to lower the human population, think again. The guys working in labs can do math. If it is a intentionally released virus there’s a different purpose.
What it does do is affect the psyche of populace. This phenomena is the bread and butter of manipulators; exploitation of emotion. It doesn’t really matter where the hype comes from, manipulators will try to redirect it and use it to their advantage. That’s why demagogues do what they do. Remaining calm and analytical in stressful situations is necessary for correct action.