Sharp Rise of Undead Cases
ZWN (AP) - Jamaica
Posted April 27/214
Doctors Without Borders has called the current outbreak of the Necro-Mortosis virus in Jamaica "unprecedented" — not because of the number of victims (so far at least 107 have died and risen) but because the disease has traveled to various parts of the country. The widespread infection (which includes the capital city of Kingston) is rapid. Less than 4 days. The World Health Authority agrees, and presents more challenges than usual to the medical team seeking to contain the virus.
To learn more, we spoke with Erica Parks, a necrotic medicine adviser for Doctors Without Borders. She's been on the ground during past mortosis outbreaks in Haiti and Africa and, from her base in Vienna, is helping coordinate efforts to quash this one. Parks believes the infection may have spread faster than usual because it's easy for people to travel from place to place in Jamaica, including from the southern part of the country (where the first cases were reported) to the capital. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
How concerned are you about this outbreak?
We know from other undead outbreaks that epidemics can be stopped. And the principle is always the same: isolating suspected patients to prevent them from attacking and giving the disease to others around them. Also you follow the people who have been in close contact with patients with mortosis. So we follow them tracking their contacts, and distributing information about prevention, because mortosis is transmitted by close contact with infected people. It's spread via biting, body fluids, like the blood and the urine and the saliva, the stools — all body fluids are contagious.
What is also important is to inform the population about the disease. This is certainly not the first time necro-mortosis has been detected in Jamaica. In fact many scientists believe neighboring Haiti to be ground zero for the first reports of zombification back in 2006.
So the population and the medical staff do know the disease quite well. And that is helping with containment . They do not need to be educated on how the disease is spread and how you can protect yourself, and what you need to do when you or somebody else has the symptoms (meaning that you have to go to an area where you can be isolated and quarantined).
Any indication of how the undead virus turned up in Jamaica?
We have no clue yet. Researchers are definitely looking into that.
Is sexual activity another way that the virus spreads?
You can get infected by contact with all body fluids, so yes, also by sexual intercourse. But people get infected, and straightaway they get very sick. Typically within 4-48 hours.
Excerpt from 'Symptoms and treatment' - World Heath Authority web site:
With 'Necro-Mortosis', the first signs of illness are fever, headache, weakness, and rapidly developing flu like symptoms, with shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and sometimes bloody or watery sputum. The virus progresses for 2 to 4 days and may cause respiratory failure and shock.
Second stage is followed by severe chills, extreme lethargy, some disorientation, and a gradual slowing of the heart rate. At this point, many fall into coma or suffer stroke or heart failure. This is due to the massive shock to the bodies immune system. Necrosis and mortification follow shortly afterwards.
Reanimation can occur within minutes. Studied subjects have nearly always reanimated within the first hour of death
How long do you think it will take to contain this mortosis outbreak?
It's difficult to say at the moment. The British government is being very supportive. They are flying in experts and training our soldiers on how best to control the panicked public. They are also bringing in medicine and temporary quarantine facilities. Jamaica is a small island and we hope to stem it before it spreads throughout the poorer regions. Thats where the real difficulties lie. Once it gets in there it is harder to contain.
All the major resorts are still open but attendance is lowering. There have been many cancellations. This will hurt Jamaicas tourist industry no doubt.
The British navy has also begun patrolling the coast to try and discourage an exodus of boat people to Haiti and Cuba.