virus day

UPDATE: This must be touching on some cultural nerve. Right now, all three of the NPR items below are in their top 5-emailed stories. As I type, they are 2, 3, and 4 - behind Monk and Coltrane.

Today was virus day on the web.

I read two blog posts about the possibilities of an avian flu pandemic, listened to a very interesting NPR story about an epidemic in the World of Warcraft online game and what the in-game reaction said about real world sociology…

“there were also skeletons and corpses everywhere.”

“players were crying out in his virtual world and shouting for the people in charge, that is, the game’s creators, to do something.”

And I heard another NPR story about where to find concentrations of germs in a grade school…

“the cafeteria trays were very dirty we were very surprised to find … the bacteria and mold count on the water fountain spigot was almost 1,000 times higher than the count on the toilet seats.”

Yet a third story from NPR that I just heard recounts efforts to reconstruct the virus behind the 1918 flu pandemic, the same reconstruction that Eric described in his post.

As the World of Warcraft story notes, “the spread of a virus or a disease has a lot to do with human behavior.”

Be careful of water fountains this flu season, it’s no joke.

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