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Is COVID-19 A Chimera?

Is COVID-19 A Chimera?

Is COVID-19 A Chimera?









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Is COVID-19 A Chimera?

Military Personnel stand guard outside the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick on September 26, 2002. – The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, one of the few laboratories in the country that can handle dangerous pathogens such as Ebola, plague and other deadly toxins. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)


Written by Hiraku Maeda.


COVID-19 may have escaped from containment at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases ( USAMRIID )  at Fort Detrick, MD (USA) due to a rainstorm and the decrepitude of the facilities there.


A catastrophic flood struck Maryland in 2018.


That storm damaged a several-decades-old steam sterilization plant of the USAMRIID, and contaminated water leaked through cracks in the plant’s concrete containment walls.


In July 2019, about one year after the accident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) halted research in the biosafety Level 3 and Level 4 laboratories at the USAMRIID on account of safety concerns.


At the time, USAMRIID was conducting work with Ebola and the agents known to cause Tularemia, the Plague and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.                                                           
                                                                                                     (The Frederick News-Post


These four agents could have combined to form what could be a chimeric virus: COVID-19.


The natural reservoir of the Ebola virus is considered to be a type of bat that is the same as the reservoir for COVID-19. Both viruses were found in semen of male patients.


An acute, e-cigarette-related pneumonia whose symptoms resemble those of tularemia spread widely in the USA in the summer and autumn of 2019. A feature in common between this pneumonia and COVID-19 is infiltration (consolidation) shadows in chest X-rays or CT images. Chest X-ray and CT images of COVID-19 patients have similar features.


Plague pathogens inject various enzymes into human macrophages. That plague’s tendency to disrupt the immune system might explain the cytokine storm and the Kawasaki disease-like symptoms seen in COVID-19.


Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), which spread in Eastern USA in the fall of 2019, are closely related. Cases of COVID-19 with encephalitis have also been reported.


Ebola, tularemia, plague, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis are zoonoses, as is the case with COVID-19.


The pathogens of all four diseases can aerosolize and cause flu-like symptoms.


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