Don’t fall for that fake LQP-79 story.

31 05 2012

I hope you didn’t fall for this obvious fake, it’s got some worried commentators asking about this new LQP-79 virus. Some comments I read online suggest this one came from 4Chan but I couldn’t confirm this.  This one is definitely rubbish, here’s why.

  • Even Zombie Apocalypse Academy thinks it’s false.
  • If you look at the interface of the article, it represents that of Huffington Post’s Healthy Living Section

    I checked Huffington Posts recent articles and this one wasn’t there. That being said, I wouldn’t trust Huffington Post to cover anything scientific appropriately
  • The Necrotizing fasciitis is underlined by spell check, probably in someone’s text editor. Even WordPress’ text editor is underlining half my blogpost as I write this.
  • Necrotizing fasciitis doesn’t really eat your skin away, at least that’s an inaccurate description. Nec Fac, as we medics contract it, happens when infectious bacteria end up in a layer surrounding your muscle called fascia, this also affects the very deep layers of skin. The spreading infection cuts off blood supply to your skin and causes it to die off. Because of the lack of blood supply, antibiotics (which need to travel through blood to affected areas) are not so effective and the preferred option is to surgically remove the skin down to the muscle (gruesome medical pictures here)
  • I couldn’t find a reference to that statement by Armando Aguilar. He seems somewhat experienced with regards to the side effects of drugs. They can make you do some crazy stuff and throw your brain off balance, to put it mildly. He claims to have seen similar cases where he’s seen people on drugs get violent and naked. I think that’s a legitimate explanation.
  • It’s not so easy to identify an unknown virus. We have hypothesized that some viruses might trigger the immune system to attack one’s own body, leading to various kinds of autoimmune dieases but this has been hard to prove. Unless science has progressed extremely rapidly since I first started med school (a mere 3 years ago) I doubt it’s easy to discover a new virus in less than a week.
  • It’s difficult to tweak brainwaves to follow a specific pattern. However, there’s a fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, that invades ants, eventually their brains, and makes them climb up to the top of plants to die so that the fungus can spread its spores effectively. There’s also a disease in humans called pica, where, likely due to malnourishment, people crave non-foods. I think the real explanation is still drugs, but it’s fun to consider the possibilities.

That being said, I don’t think it would hurt if we all trained to run fast. And stock up on some food, and stayed healthy so we have good immune systems. I’m just sayin’

P.S While I was doing a bit of research for this and people were speculating in all sorts of ways, I ran into this comment, so full of win.

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