''There's an "excellent" image from the shadowtalk of one of the books -- I don't recall which one -- that frames just how deadly VITAS was and is, comparing the numbers it killed to the total dead from World Wars I and II, various wars since, so on and so forth. Two and a half stadiums stacked full, as I recall.''
I decided to cut this, even though I might readd it later. The shadowtalk is from Cyberpirates, but the "two and half stadiums full" relates to the 53 million death toll of the wars, and isn't the death toll of VITAS. That would be more like 37 stadiums full of dead, hence the "rockfight compared to VITAS" comment.
I edited out most of the last paragraph, since it contained rules stats, and I didn't particularly like the "Ebola on crack" line, since "on crack" has become a bit of a cliche, and the VITAS has usually been equated with AIDS, even in the rough copies of first edition (original manuscripts had AIDS outbreak instead of VITAS, but wiser heads at FASA dissented).
I want to include the probability info, since I find that interesting. I'll think I'll need find a better way to word it, though, as well as sourcing it. --UserYoungFreud 2132, 12 Feb 2005 (Eastern Standard Time)
==Tetracycline and Medical Care==
Tetracycline doesn't work against viruses... no doctor would ever use it for that purpose, unless they thought it was a bacterial infection. Probably an oversight of the original writers... more likely to have used acyclovir or a similar drug. Should this be changed?
Don't know, probably. The tetracycline reference comes from the African chapter in ''Cyberpirates'', in which some dictator withheld 400,000 doses of tetracycline for himself, the army, and his chosen elite. It's mentioned that the tetracycline wouldn't have been effective in stopping it, but reducing it. It probably is an oversight on the part of the writers, but I'm not sure if it should be removed. It could be explained that since it was during early years of the pandemic, no one really knew what it was.
Which comes to something I've been thinking about from all book descriptions, someone in the terminal phase of VITAS looked like like they were going into severe allergic shock. If no doctors or health care workers picked up on the fact it was an airborne virus and not an allergic attack, then this could explain the heavy death toll in the industrialized nations medical personnel would think a person was having an allergic reaction, attempt to treat them for an allergy, and ended up getting themselves infected. With it's quick incubation time, by the time the medicial community could realize what was going on and VITAS reached epidemic levels, health services would be impaired significantly, increasing the death toll.--UserYoungFreud 1914, 5 Mar 2005 (EST)
I think that Tetracycline should be mentioned, but it shouldn't be worded as an effective therapy. Something along the lines of "Because the medical community did not know how to handle it as an infection, all sorts of treatments were tried by desperate health care workers, including antibiotics." As far as your analysis of the VITAS epidemic, I think it's spot on... health care workers would not know what they were dealing with. Similar events happen with Ebola in Africa. If a new virus like Ebola (but different) ever got out in an industrialized nation, the impact on health care professionals would be tremendous.