Monday, September 05, 2005

Bad

Mike the Mad Biologist notes The First Microbiological Crisis:
CNN reports that a shelter in Mississippi was closed Saturday:
While the doctors wait, the first signs of disease began to emerge Saturday: A Mississippi shelter was closed after 20 residents got sick with dysentery, probably from drinking contaminated water.
All you need to prevent dysentery is clean, potable water. You don't have to worry about infection control schemes, just use potable water. Now, if there were only a Magical Ship that can decontaminate 100,000 gallons of water per day waiting for orders. There is such a ship, the USS Bataan, and as of Sunday, it still hadn't received any orders.

Let's hope this is an isolated incident. Unfortunately, there's no reason to think it will be. Resources are being badly used and people will die because of that. People dying because a levee breaks is one thing. People dying in fires or being crushed by falling debris, those are acts of God.

Dysentery in a shelter when clean water could be made available, that's not an act of God. That's not an accident. It's malice or stupidity. At some point, the two don't make any difference.

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