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David Lloyd-Jones david.lloyd-jones at canrem.com
Sun Mar 5 09:53:00 EST 1995

 dashley at TENET.EDU (Don Ashley) posts:
DA+There is thought today that deaths attributed to diseases such as 
  +pneumonia in the past were successful because of loss of immunity (AIDS).
I just read a column by Andrew Nikiforik (author of *The Four 
Horsemen*, a really excellent history of epidemic disease) in which he 
comments that AIDS made the cross-over from monkeys to humans about a 
hundred years ago.   
Nikiforik is well-informed in the field, so this is probably the 
Current Best Guess of the scientists doing the relevant work. 
DA+Previously, AIDS was not given credit.  AIDS was around long before the 
  +public knew about it.  In other words, w/o AIDS, certain victims of pneumoni
  +may have defended and survived.  News leakage of AIDS would surely have 
  +elicited panic and hysteria.

Panic we have had aplenty: the pneumonia pandemic of 1919 killed more 
American soldiers than did WWI.  On the other hand I doubt that there 
was a lot of AIDS on those military camps in New Jersey where thousands 
DA+Now $billions are being fronted for AIDS cure research.
I think there's a lot to be said for the idea that the best aging 
research is likely to be something serendipitous out of the AIDS 
Here in Toronto we're just building a super-secure viral epidemiology 
unit.  One of the assumptions behind it is that AIDS is probably not 
the only strange virus lurking out there.  Ebola, for instance, has 
only stayed as small as it is because the virus so unwisely kills its 
victims quickly -- before they can carry it very far.  An ebola with 
the ten year latency of AIDS would be a virus with real legs.  Since we 
have a steady trickle of immigration from India, China and Africa, 
Canada is as likely a place as any for anything weird to show up in the 
industrial world.
You guys in the States look after the Amazon, OK?

david.lloyd-jones at canrem.com

 * 1st 1.11 #3818 *        Very funny Scotty.  Now beam my clothes up.

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