Have Earth’s Pandemics Originated in Outer Space?


An alternative theory to the origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) suggests that the  disease may have originated in outer space. Chandra Wickramasinghe from Cardiff University, UK, and colleagues described how around a ton of bacteria is deposited on the earth every day, and propose that pathogenic bacteria and viruses could have origins in outer space.

They included the unusual nature of major epidemics such as the plague of Athens and the ‘flu epidemic of 1917-19 where infection rates and deaths are not easily explained by epidemiological modelling.

“With respect to the SARS outbreak [of 2003], a prima facie case for a possible space incidence can already be made," said Wickramasinghe. First, the virus was unexpectedly novel, and appeared without warning in mainland China. A small amount of the culprit virus introduced into the stratosphere could have made a first tentative fall out east of the great mountain range of the Himalayas, where the stratosphere is thinnest, followed by sporadic deposits in neighbouring areas.

If the virus is only minimally infective, as it seemed to be, the subsequent course of its global progress would depend on stratospheric transport and mixing, leading to a fall out continuing seasonally over a few years. We should remain vigilant, Wickramasinghe added, for the appearances of new foci almost anywhere on the planet. New cases might continue to appear until the stratospheric supply of the causative agent becomes exhausted.

The Daily Galaxy via http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=42712&CultureCode=en


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