Thursday, February 5, 2015


Mitchell Corpsman; Mitch to his friends and co-workers knock softly on the heavy wood door; muffled he heard “Come in” Pushing the large door open he stuck his head into the large room; finding the Director sitting behind the huge desk Mitch quickly checked to make sure she was alone.

“Mitch, come in, come in.” Director Bell said in her friendly tone. The CDC chief was easy to work for; “do your job and join the family” was what she’d told him two years ago when he joined her staff.

“Chief we have a problem.” Mitch took the seat the chief was pointing at. “It’s Florida again, the keys.”

“Not more snakes, or is it the rats this time?” Director Beth Bell said shaking her head. Bell joined the CDC in 1992 working as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in Washington State. Later promoted to Director of NCEZID she’d been chasing emerging zoonotic infectious diseases for the last few years. “Not snakes or rats?” she said as Mitch shook his head slowly looking at his hands.

“I wish it was snakes; that I could handle. It’s rabies.” Mitch said lifting his head with a sick look on his face.

“Rabies? Oh shit; how many cases? We’re talking one case right?” Director Bell said, as she too began to mimic Mitch’s slow sickened side to side head motions of no.

“No Chief, we’ve got seven at the moment and two more just taken in for testing.” “It’s looking like an epidemic and its picking up speed real fast!” Mitch slowly lifted his head and looked into the shocked eyes of the Director.

“What the hell’s going on down there Mitch, we only had two cases in the whole Country in last few years. It’s almost unheard of for someone to get rabies in the States.” “Anyone have an idea what’s the carrier?” Bell said her voice filled with dread.

“No not yet; I got a report five days ago when the first diagnoses came in. Guy from Key Haven came into a hospital in Miami sick and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. They had him for two days when he went crazy and bit two nurses and a Security Officer. They didn’t get it figured out until he started foaming at the mouth.” Mitch said in a low drone. “He’s dead and all three that he bit are not responding to treatments.”

“Not responding?” Beth said wide eyed. “So we have three cases not responding to treatment?”

“No we have those three and three more at small hospitals down in the keys that don’t seem to be responding either, Plus the two that came in today.” Mitch said as his right hand worked its way up and began to rub under his left eye. “One of the cases today is John Thomas EIS from the Atlanta Office, I sent him down three days ago to have a firsthand look.”

“Oh no, I worked with him in Washington State during the E. coli outbreak; wait, isn’t the incubation period normally two to twelve weeks?” Beth said astonished.

“That’s the way I read it, but this is something special it’s looking like a super bug, fast and drug resistant.” Mitch’s right hand was now rubbing roughly around his eye, the skin turning red and raw looking.

“I’m calling everyone in; Mitch get on the first plane down there and get me some answers.” Beth said as Mitch turned and was out the door in a flash. I hand wave was his only reply. “Be careful!” she shouted as the door closed.

Picking up the phone she sent out the alert everyone hoped they’d never get.

“Ok ok quiet down!” Director Bell shouted over the roar of the large crowd. “Let’s get to it people! We have a lot to cover; take your seats!”

Two hundred and fifty people, Doctors, PhD’s, Assistants, Lab workers all sat in unison; it was clear they were all equally worried by what they’d been able to find out to this point; the silence was deafening.

“Let me give you some back ground on what we are up against.” Bell said as the overhead lights went low and the projector came to life and brightened the large screen. “This is rabies.” A gasp filled the room as nearly five hundred plus eyes stared at the most frightening disease of third World Countries filled the screen. “It’s 99.9 percent deadly if not caught before the first symptoms appear. Only three people have been saved using the new Melbourne protocol; this disease is a slate cleaner.” You could hear a pin drop in the large auditorium the only sound was the hum of the projector. “It appears to be a super bug version and is at this point is not treatable with any known drugs or treatment.” “We currently have nine dead and seventeen under level five containment in Miami. The carrier is not known at this time.” “Two of our own investigators are dead with this disease and we expect the numbers of stricken to rise.” A low murmur drifted across the large room in a slow wave. Heads turned and people looked at each other with solemn faces; this was indeed serious.

Day ten; Tuesday.

The radio crackled, Jones strained to hear and understand what was being said. The fan of his respirator covered the scratchy radio and the double layer of plastic of his hazmat suit made it all but impossible to hear or read the radio display face.

“Can you fucking understand any of that?” Jones shouted to his partner Collins. Collins was just a white blob of hundreds of white blobs in space suits moving through the white walled neighborhood; the only difference being a short section of medical tape with his name pasted to the front right breast of his suit.

“Yeah the guy said the fucking National Guard just shot three more people. Those fuckers are useless and scared shitless!” Collins shouted in Jones face mask.

“What were they expecting? The poor fuckers with rabies go crazy and attack anything that moves! All the fucking animals have rabies too! The National Guard guys are supposed to shoot any animal they see. I want the fuck out of here!” Jones screamed at Collins fogging up his clear plastic face plate. With a wave Collins turned into another court yard looking for anyone still alive. Jones followed him cussing under his breath.

Day fifteen; Sunday.

Miami CDC control center

“We’re fucked!” Matt Jason said a little too loud. Three heads turned and looks of disapproval crossed all three faces. Lower and closer to Michael Deems ear “Fucking mosquitoes, can you fucking believe it? Fucking mosquitoes!” “How you gonna stop a cloud of fucking mosquitoes!?” Matt Jason whispered.

After a short side bar conversation Director Bell addressed the vector control Officers.

“Ok this is what we’ve got. The FDA approved the release of five hundred thousand GMO mosquitoes on Raccoon Island exactly thirty days ago. These mosquitoes were genetically modified to breed with the Islands Aedes aegypti local mosquitoes population with the plan that the local mosquitoes would lay eggs that would not hatch ending the cycle of many if not all the local mosquitoes on Raccoon Island.”

“What has happened is that they succeeded in the breeding program but the GMO mosquitoes are breeding with each other; something they thought couldn’t be done successfully. The new GMO super mosquitoes have the ability to transfer living viruses to animals and humans they bite; this is nothing new. What’s new is that they can now transfer any viruses they carry to their off spring; meaning the baby mosquitoes come hatched with a number of viruses from their parents. One or many of those GMO super mosquitoes have bitten a rabid animal and we have thousands of their off spring carrying a viable rabies virus which they can transfer to humans or any other creature they bite.”

A roar went through the grouped Officers bouncing from wall to wall. Everyone in the room was talking at once. People got to their feet; arms waving, a number of people walked out the meeting room door dropping name tags and I.D badges as they left.

Yelling at the top of her lungs over the thunderous outraged voices; “Ok ok let me have your attention!” “Please everyone; please give me your attention!”

“I’m as outraged as you are!” “But we have to get this under control before it spreads to any further Islands!” Bell shouted.

People sat shaking their heads; murmurs continued to cross the room picking up in intensity then dropping.

“We’ve lost Raccoon Island and we’ve evacuated six close by Islands and keys.” “We can stop this in its tracks if we move fast.” Bell pleaded.

Day sixty; Wednesday

CBS Evening News:

Rabies continues to spread across the lower half of Florida tonight with no end in sight. The CDC insists there is no reason to worry and says the spread of this deadly disease is in its last stages and the number of new cases will slowly drop in the next few days. One case of rabies has been reported in Alabama but the CDC has ruled out that this case is connected to Florida’s outbreak.

Also in the news………….

From the Ramblings.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. Pandemic terror at its finest. This is a really...infectious story. You pepper in just the right amount of detail to keep the story weighted and grounded in the here and now. A solid piece!