How to prep for new and emerging diseases

I just read a Canadian article in today’s news that got me thinking about new and emerging diseases and what we will need to learn or have in our preps in order to prepare for them.

Here’s the article I read today. It appears to be a new disease, so far more than 40 cases have been reported in the province of New Brunswick, which is situated on the Atlantic coast.

Quote from linked article begins: In an internal memo obtained by Radio-Canada, sent on March 5 by the office of the chief medical officer of health to the New Brunswick Medical Society and to associations of doctors and nurses, the department notes the existence of a cluster of 42 cases of a progressive neurological syndrome of unknown origin. End Quote

This internal memo was dated March 5, 2021. When were they planning on telling the public?

Read the article carefully. It is “not genetic and could be contracted from food, water or air.” There is concern that this could be a new disease.

New Brunswick monitoring 40+ cases of unknown neurological disease

This news reminded me of a January 2021 article which was part of a BBC News series called “Stopping the Next One” which refers to emerging infectious disease.

This link is to the BBC article from the series BBC Nipah Virus

New and emergent diseases are going to impact how we prep.

These infectious diseases will also impact travel and the work place as Covid-19 did. They could also impact what we eat, where we live, how we live and on a much larger scale our economies and the global economy.

Is it travel, climate or both causing these diseases to emerge?

How do we prep for this kind of scenario?

This is a level of prepping that will require an understanding and respect for how infectious disease spreads.

The stakes are very high considering the death rate for Nipah Virus, or the long term effects of the neurological disease described in the New Brunswick article.

I have seen too many people disregard health protocols during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

This is nothing new so it shouldn’t surprise any of us. Think back to the HIV/Aids epidemic. How many people played Russian roulette with their own life or someone else’s life instead of doing what they were told to prevent the spread of a virus that was killing people?

If we experience more of these kinds of events, then the message that these are deadly, infectious diseases needs to get hammered home. If people in remote villages in Africa can be taught the protocols for Ebola, what on Earth is wrong with us? How can we set ourselves up to die from stupidity?

Does prepping now include evasive techniques for protection against people who are not taking precautions to spread disease? 

The New Brunswick article stated the neurological disease could be contracted from food, water or air. How do we prep for that? Is livestock going to become a distant memory in the face of more diseases originating from this source?

Bats may be the transmitters in the case of Nipah and other viruses, but they are also an important part of how insect populations are controlled, including insects that spread disease.

How do we get ahead of the curve on this scenario?


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  • Comments (69)

    • 8

      Ubique, In reply less the travel type question which I do not know other than to say transmission common by others who did travel;

      Re prep for an emergent disease;

      Start taking courses on public health subjects.  Attend the seminars … they are around. Develop a background on this field.  The days of splinting a broken bone can be handled by younger people knowing the basics.

      Expand and augment the med kit.  A group arrangement allows for economies of scale. Remember my mention of 2 tables each 8 ft long used to store food on ? Both have handles to serve as a stretcher or, with padding.an exam table. 

      A private citizen can only do the basics – but this can keep one busy.  Are the immunizations current ? For some, consider getting the pre-rabies vaccinations – forgot if 2 or 3 – especially if plans might require a field evac. Dental hygiene program at max level ? Are boots/shoes … includes speciality boots like rubber/Wellingtons for flood area … in good shape and loaded with anti-fungal powder ? Again; the provate citizen must consider maxing out the basics.

      Evasive techniques … involving those who might be spreading infections.  Here, the germ theory of disease is at the top of the list. Had just discussed with a med pro that would not get a shot/jab at a public health makeshift clinic if options available. Waithing in that line could be like a 1901 US soldier in Cuba.  He goes to the field hospital for saddle sores and leaves with Yellow Fever.

      Livestock is slowly being monitored and addressed.  It is the house pets, to include personal horses, that are the weak link. Again: the germ theory of disease and transmission of the germs. Think mosquitoes. Related; morbid, unpleasant to discuss, but must. Ten miles away from dwelling, burial required for animals – and humans – or the mosquitoes with be carrying the germs to places without mosquito nets. Private citizens do not monitor areas out to 10 miles. Do the public health authorities ? Is the area program like the COVID-19 mass immunization program ? Who wrote the expression: “Abandon hope” ? 

      Add to list: mosquito nets.

      To get ahead of the curve: continue with the basics of prepping for the foundation, then enter into the sophisticated fields. Do have a short time line to get started. 

      Are the kids learning this ?


      • 7

        Bob, Thank you for great insight and ideas.

        Taking courses on public health subjects is spot on, as is seminars. I am seeking that out immediately and I am pretty sure distance education will be possible for many of the courses.

        The med kit is now redefined for me. I had a feeling it was going this way, that’s why I went to full face shields. More research for which items will augment kit.

        Yes, I remember the 2 tables. What a great idea – a stretcher or exam table! Brilliant, Bob!

        Shots up to date and I have had rabies treatment due to bat exposure but that was years ago. I’ll check into it. I think I’m due for tetanus.
        Dental hygiene always managed well – and proactive about health care of teeth/gums. Also careful with ageing teeth so as not to damage them.

        Rubber boots are needed. The pair I got were from a thrift store and okay for mucking about garden. I need to get a taller and better constructed pair. Plus rubber patches and waterproof glue.

        Anti-fungal powder – Do you know I used to have that on hand all the time and some how it dropped off my prep shopping list? I have do a double check on my prep master shopping list and see if any others items have slipped off my restocking radar and lists.

        Evasive techniques –  I don’t go to big “flu clinics” and haven’t for years. It’s like heading into a big barn full of sick people. The coughing! I got last year’s flu shot at a pharmacy about 45 minutes away in another small town. They did appointment only and it was great.

        I bought long sleeved loose shirts to protect against Zika when it began and to protect against the sun when working outside. Need a better hat. I have battery operated personal repellent for mosquitos and spray.

        I’m thinking adding body bags to my preps, morbid or not, it needs to be considered. My dog is my unofficial ptsd service dog. I won’t kiss her on the muzzle anymore. She prefers cookies anyway.

        The monitoring by public health authorities doesn’t usually happen, but that could always change. However, private citizens like to travel all terrain everywhere out here.

        The mass immunization occurs if a vaccine is developed. Not everything has a vaccine, which really worries me.

        Must get mosquito nets, lots of them Citronella oil will help also.

        Absolutely agree, basics of prepping, then into specialized more advanced fields. 

        I am also trying to extrapolate how food crops could be affected by these new diseases including meat crops. This may be a strange question, but if virus/disease can jump between insect and animal species, can it also jump from meat crop to plant crops?

        If the kids aren’t learning this, they should be.

        This is just the tip of the iceberg for the variables possible with these kinds of diseases and the kind of prepping adaptation we will be called upon to learn.

        Much thinking to do. Will see if I get smarter overnight.

        “Abandon Hope, All ye who enter here” – Dante Alighieri’s work Inferno

        “There must be some kind of way outta here
        Said the joker to the thief
        There’s too much confusion
        I can’t get no relief”

        All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

      • 3

        Ubique, Glance at the CDC website at section for health care workers. There were some courses available. My favorite “medic” site is SAMHSA but they are specialized.

        I learned dental hygiene the hard way.

        Inside of pending new hat, consider stuffing a mosquito headnet (with drawstring having an attached whistle). My headnet is actually a bee keepers net w/o the houla hoop.

        Good idea re the body bags. They do cost a few bucks.

        Don’t know about the virus/disease transmission from meat to plant but can guess with confidence there are people in the agricultural orgs, both public and private (eg Farm Bureau. Future Farmers of America) who discuss this all the time.

        Hendrix had been a paratrooper in a famous US division. I remember him from line “Excuse me please while I kiss the sky”.

      • 3

        HI Bob, I found some info on food borne diseases. The WHO Food safety link is good and I noted some points of interest in the Conclusion which begins on P 55.

        WHO Food Safety

        The Canadian link below has straightforward info on meat diseases.

        Diseases associated with meat cutting

        I was thinking ecoli can be in either meat or vegetables. I am not sure how many viruses could do that, but I’m still digging.

        Also, here’s another thought, during tonight’s reading a line about infected water used for irrigation that in turn infected plants caught my eye.

        It would follow then that emerging diseases can make their way into our water systems and infect crops. I remember Avian Influenza by my last info, could surive in water for 31 or 32 days.

        The New Brunswick article really bothered me because the first case was in 2015, and subsequent cases have all increased each year, 2021 unknown but we are already at 6 cases. Here’s the numbers again:

        “A first case was diagnosed in 2015, according to the memo. Three years later, in 2019, 11 additional cases were discovered, with 24 more cases discovered in 2020 and another six cases in 2021. Five people have died.”

        The other thing I found strange about this article was how they described the locations of the people who had been infected.  This occurred over time. Why wouldn’t this info be traced back yet? Unless, the person wasn’t from Canada or maybe from one of the ships in their ports?

        “Public Health said the location of the cases — in the northeast and Moncton region — reflects where the patients lived at the time they were referred to the system, not before that.”

        I checked out CDC. Very interesting courses. I wonder if they would let a lay person take one of their courses. I did that with University level Palliative Care. I wanted to learn about it so I wrote a letter. They let me take the course with the health care workers. I did great, top of my class.

        If I can’t get accepted into a course, I can still get the book list and buy my books and teach myself. 

        I learned dental hygiene the hard way too, Bob. Dentist don’t explain any of the same things that a Periodontist will tell you, including the tools and correct way to brush one’s teeth. I had two oral surgeries to save my teeth and did so. My dental health is very good now. I wear a mouth guard at night for the nightmares and bruxism.

        Anyone prepping should get a visit in with a Periodontist and learn all of this before a crisis happens. I have my dental gear prepped to the max.

        The beekeeper hat is a great idea! I think Lee Valley has them.

        Body bags are a safe place to lay someone’s remains in the event of a disaster, both to prevent spread of disease and contain decomposition.

        My friend’s wife who works as head nurse had bodies piling up during covid because the funeral homes were overloaded. 

        I hadn’t thought about keeping any in preps until I read though the emerging diseases info today.

        Jimi was in the 101 Airborne. 

        Well, one thing with emerging infectious diseases, you’ll know who the preppers are. We’ll be the ones wrapped up and looking like mummies. : )

      • 3

        Ubique, Will glance at link soon.  I’ve been infected by Avian or Swine, whatever is the H1N1.  Got it in Asia.

        I don’t know about requirements to sign up for CDC courses. Over the years I’ve gotten good and timely help from CDC … not courses; must minimize my screen time … My route for CDC interface was via my volunteer medical logistics background.

        Megadittos re the periodentist discussion. My “DDS kit” is more important to me than my first aid kit.

        Yes, indeed, Hendrix was with the 101 Abn, “Screeming Eagles”.

        My homesteader prepper group here had worked up a busines projection plan, something about identical to the modeling plan introduced to us by Mark of TP.  We exceeded requirements for food inventories, water supply, to include a wind powered RO distillery, medical supplies, field dental ability, dwelling rehab supplies and tools, …… It was blaring obvious that our weak link – and a realistic fatal one – was public health matters – public health at our level – . A dead horse needs to be buried or the mosquitoes have us joining the horse.

        Our current emphasis is obvious.

      • 3

        Bob – Read you loud and clear. I’m spending as much time as possible researching and visualizing scenarios re public health. 

        I am going to check relevant text books online, expedite knowledge as able to do so. Last couple of days I have been reprising the role of Anne Sullivan in the famous dining room scene with Helen Keller in the movie The Miracle Worker. Good for the circulation.

      • 7

        Ubique, As an aside, Helen Keller/Anne Sullivan well known down here. There is a large cottage industry of privte citizen Civil War historians. Helen Keller’s father was a Confederate Army officer. Helen Keller is one of, if not the apex, of the disabled overcoming what “society” calls disabled, and is now the model for overcoming adversity.

        I am in awe that I was living at the same time as Helen Keller. It is my connection to history, to the past. My other connecting example relates to US President Grant, Lincoln’s Commanding General of the US Army during our Civil War. One of President Grant’s grand daughters was still living for a few years after my arrival on planet. Kerensky, the Russian exiled by the Bolsheviks, also on list. 

      • 4

        Bob, It is amazing to think of how we can generations can overlap.

        My paternal Grandfather was born in 1875 (died 100 because of medical incompetence). Dad said think of what your grandfather saw in his lifetime, new technology, inventions, cures or treatments for diseases, wars.

        He was around 95, still digging his big potato garden and living in a little house in Kelowna with my Grandma when he said something typical of his attitude to my Dad who was in town visiting them. They were sitting in the back yard.

        He said “I’ve outlived all my friends. These guys in their 70’s are like kids to me. We have nothing common.”

        Just then, a man in his around 75 came shuffling slowly down the back lane. He was hunched over and looked much older than my Grandfather who carried himself ramrod straight and walked everywhere, including up and down Knox mountain in town. Grandfather took an interest in everything and had a sharp mind and memory.

        He looked at my Grandfather and said “Evenin’ Bobby, nice night.”

        Grandfather looked over at him and replied “It is indeed.”

        Without missing a beat, he turned to my Grandma, once the man was out of earshot and said “Kate, if I ever get to looking like that, get the gun off the all and shoot me!”

      • 4

        Ubique, Real good story; it explains much.

      • 4


        Ubique, Re “CDC and laity taking their courses”;

        Above link is not re courses but related. They have an email newsletter that can be signed up for. My experience is that after a couple of weeks or months, depending on org, readers are invited into the overall umbrella community for stuff.

        At same above link, CDC tells of their audience.  You definitely quality in a few of the mentioed categories. I say this by you posting here at TP material on the Canadian meat issue, WHO, … definitely functioning as a public health provided.

        I was working above link looking for info on “Red Tide” – It’s not necessarily red nor is it a tide.  Believe CDC uses the formal name and must cross reference to my notes to see what CDC says. National Weather Service does discuss it.


      • 5

        Hi Bob, Great link and thank you.

        Most of the day spent on mosquito borne disease. I wanted to tackle the biggest vectors of emerging diseases.

        So far, the only way I can see to combat mosquitoes is don’t provide the habitat, i.e. standing water and old school but proven repellent and body protection with fine woven netting and head to toe coverage. 

        I’m a bit early for World Mosquito Day on Aug 20 commemorating Sir Ronald Ross and his discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between human.

        I’ve been working med research/setting up health info websites on emergent diseases. I have also been  sourcing gear and mosquito protection over and above what’s on hand. 

        Picardin at 20% = 30% Deet with less risk to skin and also lasts for 12 hours over 6 hours with less smell.

        CDC article

        I didn’t know that mosquitos are attracted to the CO2 in our breath. They can smell it from 100 ft away. Rising CO2 from warming also affects growth and plant nutrition. We get increased plan growth but get less protein, B vitamins and micronutrients.

        Also, from PLOS journal, interesting read on new insight into the antiviral immunity of bats. This could help researchers understand their adaptive immunity and be beneficial for future vaccine development.

        “Bats harbour many zoonotic viruses, including highly pathogenic viruses of humans and other mammals, but they are typically asymptomatic in bats”.

        I just saw info today in my reading on Red Tide. It’s the type of algae you’re looking for?

        Red Tide

        Algae in Lake Winnipeg produced massive sized fish (walleye) but now I wonder how that might have affected the nutrition of the fish meat. 

        A local farmer invented an aerator to deal with the algae on the town’s lake. First they have to stop farmers from allowing their manure to run off into the lake. The other factor is hot summers.

        I am continuing to focus on the idea that we will be potentially coping with multiple disasters in addition to the after effects of other disasters/weather events. Further to all of that will be the role that climate change is playing in the entire scenario.

        I have lots of other good reference sites booked if you need any.

      • 2

        Ubique, Was told by scientists that CO2 also an attractant for ticks.

        The algae in various circumstances releases substances with some being extreme irritants to humans. Same scientists told me the irritants occur by both aquatic and marine algae. With my common denominator prepper philosophy, I just don’t go into the water any more notwithstanding was once a recreational scuba diver and ocean swimmer.

        Appreciate offer of ref books but priority now is nearly exclusive to protecting against the vectors like mosquitoes.

        My main peril efforts really involves multiple perils at same time. A hurricane concurrent with an epidemic and a domestic terrorist event … basic common crime always now present here … My self-imposed prepper assignment for homestead it to be up all night. This is the weak-link time.

        At least I get quality shortwave reception – unless the authorities close down electronic communications. Defeating terrorists gets priority.


      • 5

        Bob, Yes, I remember reading earlier today that CO2 also attracted ticks.

        Algae is an issue and can cause some pretty nasty skin irritation. The lake in my town is not like what I grew up with (Lake Manitoba – big and clean). I won’t even fish in the local water here. Ugh!

        I got my mosquito gear figured out today and bookmarked for purchase. Plus the Picaridin repellent. Loading up on that. Plus old school mosquito management from on the farm. Cover up head to foot and avoid certain times of day.

        It sounds like your prep skills are getting a major work out. That’s a heavy load.

        That’s another thing I have to include/learn to use is alternate comm. I knew someone who was into ham radio with his Dad as a major hobby, and I saw their set up but don’t know much more than that.

      • 7

        Ubique, When the Wright brothers left their bicycle shop in Ohio to travel to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to test their flying machine, their diaries recorded the abundance of fish near offshore. Today, it’s changed. It’s about the same for the Chesapeake Bay.  There are small efforts to save our natural resources but the competing forces present their own compelling reasons not to. Can’t clarify so as to avoid political matters.

        My prep skills and preparedness are approaching uselessness. Besides the difficult environment involving both natural and human perils, we’ve lost “community”. Numerous groups have antagonistic views and fight for their positions. Here, also, must avoid the politics to this.

        From what I learn, both directly and indirectly, if the Navy Norfolk – Washington, D.C. corridor is dealing with a terrorist threat, no private citizen will have communications for the duration of the anti-terrorist operations.  After all, even enemies can use electronic commo and semophore flags. This won’t be allowed.

        My view is requiring self-sustainment to the max.

      • 3

        Bob, I believe I understand. Fear can drive the herd in different directions. Once the stampede starts, one can only step out of the way.

        Self-sustainment is a good start. The comm shut down would be like a black out was during WWII? Or is this longer?

        If longer, are there alternatives? Different location? I know you mentioned not going to BO, but perhaps a shift to a slightly less hectic corridor?

      • 4

        Ubique,Yes, I’m discussing a WWII type of scenerio. I would not guess longer since the national population and support structures would be stabilized soon enough.

        No more warhouse arrangements for elderliy, infirm funded off of dwindling public budgets, no more schools servicing as disguised unemployment by running sports teams and band practice. Schools are funded by local real estate taxes and this is a shrinking budget. No more private citizen health care neglect and then show up at the public clinic for care. No more leisure/business travel that’s subsidized. It was COVID-19 that triggered the new arrangements already started.

        I do not believe relocations will be exclusive personal decisions any more. Technically, I’m in my B.O place. The area has since changed since building shack on acreage. It’s not the hurricanes.

        Who knows ? … the seat of government in Washington, D.C. could be relocated to Nebraska or Wyoming. Another corridor could develop. The US Gulf Coast already resembles the mid-Atlantic especially because of the Strategic Petroluem Reserve and the related like the east Texas refineries.

        The US has the instutional infrastructure to rehab itself.  It does cause discomfort and much funding. Preppers will come out on top and the beer and pizza crowd might have memories if still around.

      • 6


        Ubique, Re “CDC and laity taking their courses”;

        Above link is not re courses but related. They have an email newsletter that can be signed up for. My experience is that after a couple of weeks or months, depending on org, readers are invited into the overall umbrella community for stuff.

        At same above link, CDC tells of their audience.  You definitely quality in a few of the mentioed categories. I say this by you posting here at TP material on the Canadian meat issue, WHO, … definitely functioning as a public health provided.

        I was working above link looking for info on “Red Tide” – It’s not necessarily red nor is it a tide.  Believe CDC uses the formal name and must cross reference to my notes to see what CDC says. National Weather Service does discuss it.


      • 5

        I would not be concerned with contracting a virus from a plant. Plant viruses are often found in mammals because they are in almost everything we eat but they do not cause an immune response. Jury is still out on wether or not there will ever be a ‘kingdom border jump’ of plant viruses to mammals and this article from PubMed sums up why plant viruses are not a major human public health concern (I’d definitely be more worried about pathogen spillover from other mammals to humans). 

        Plants and animals have different cell types which likely stymies pathogen transfer between the species. Plant pathogens are still a problem to be concerned with from an agricultural perspective as they decrease yield and can cause issues with our food supply, but I wouldn’t worry about being infected with one. 

      • 2

        Mosquitoes are not at all likely to carry diseases from dead bodies to living ones. Here is a great document that explains the difference between mosquito genera, what diseases each group is most likely to vector, with maps of where that particular type of mosquito thrives in the USA. Also please see my post further down this thread that refutes your 10 mile radius suggestion with a link to the World Health Organization’s Manual for Management of Dead Bodies After Disasters

      • 2

        Camille, Side

        bar; I’m losing my continuity with thread.  Still, am trying to post info.  

        Have you been following Dr Ho Jlan Kui and his CRISP-R gene editing re mosquitoes ? I am laity but do listen to those here who are involved in this. 

        The public health info here says that a mosquito that bit a live horse and a dead horse can be transmitting that horse illness … forgot the names … within a certain radius.  I don’t remember exactly reading the size of radius or actual vital signs of infected horse. Ten miles was frequently mentioned.  From what I understand … and I’ve taken a course from the WHO manual re burial of the dead … even a dead horse or human for minutes or up to 6 hours re a human corpse w/ AIDS can allow a mosquito to serve as a vector.

        There are several labs that I’ve heard about working this subject. Am guessing it’s restricted info. Occassionally Ft Dietrick is in the news. Someone mentioned Plum Island, NY and admit had to plot out this place on map. 

        I walked away from all this learning that HAZMAT suits really require someone to help take off and dispose of in safety. Then both must start a washing / disinfecting process. 

      • 4

        The only CRISPR mosquito research I’m familiar with is this publication which is concerned with making mosquitoes resistant to transmitting malaria. This research isn’t related to anything else that has been discussed in this thread thus far, but could be of interest to prepper’s who may find themselves in an area that is newly endemic with malaria by 2050.

        I don’t worry about equine diseases except Eastern Equine Encephalitis which is vectored by mosquitoes (just wear bug spray to be safe, there are less than 10 cases per year in U.S.A. and horses are now vaccinated) and Hendra (bat to horse to human transmission, extremely rare). I have never seen any scientific literature suggesting mosquitoes are drawn to biting dead bodies, and unless you have a sound scientific source confirming it, this is likely a myth to be discarded . It also bears repeating: dead bodies are not great hosts for infectious diseases because the host environment supporting the pathogen has ceased to function. Majority of people will never come in contact with a body that is infectious in nature. Even in a hypothetical scenario of a highly contagious novel disease, you’re unlikely to have someone infected staggering onto your property with the responsibility of caring for their body then falling to you. That’s Hollywood, not reality. If people are that sick, they aren’t going to be traveling some far distance, wandering in a direction they don’t know. 

        To your suggestion that there is restricted access to info – realistically speaking if mosquito transmission of the nature you are suggesting was actually real – we would see a much higher prevalence of many vectored diseases than we currently see simply because these vectors would transmitting diseases from those living who are infected to those living who are uninfected. If they aren’t transmitting a disease from one live body to another, they certainly won’t be transmitting it from one dead body to one live body. Arthropods (like ticks and mosquitoes) are vectors of many diseases, however many diseases aren’t at all adapted to being vectored by an arthropod. 

        You need to seriously re-evaluate where you are getting your information, as there is NO evidence what-so-ever that mosquitoes can transmit HIV (which causes AIDS).

      • 3

        Camille, The CRISPR research I was referring to goes well beyond mosquitoes and malaria. This thread already was open to mentioning this. Everyone dooesn’t wear bug spray and all horses are not vaccinated. Other animals also not vaccinated. 

        Camille, you’re presenting abstractions not showing up in the real world events.  I, for example, 4 people on a country road crash their car into a tree, using a timeline starting when all 4 are in life with vital signs, to death plus 6 hours, mosquitoes could be present.

        Scientific literature is not completely scientific. I learned in scientific literature that the inert elements were inert. Later I learned this is not correct. Some inert elements just aren’t inert.

        Haven’t had any novel diseased staggering around here … that I know of. There have been some with the trditional diseases staggering around here. Was later told it was tuberculosis and some other diseases.   There is a responsibility to notify the authorities about the dead. If notification not accomplished, whatever the reason, decisions must be made.

        In as nice a way as I can say this, I’ve got to challenge: “If people are that sick, they aren’t going to be traveling some far distance,wandering in a direction they don’t know”.  We’ve got examples by the van load and the truck load.

        My info re mosquitoes from sources I deem high-quality level. It’s about ongoing research for FUTURE use and not in current use.

    • 7

      This current pandemic has given us some insight into answering your question.  Personal protective equipment should be stocked heavily.  For years I’ve had cases of n95 masks,  around a half dozen half face respirators with lots of replacement cartridges, disposable coveralls, gloves, goggles, etc.  I would include making sure you have plenty of soap product & disinfectants.  As a minimum, keeps lots of pool shock which can be added to water to make a chlorine disinfectant.  Nice thing about pool shock is that it is much more stable & lasts much longer than liquid bleach.  Just a small package can make hundreds of gallons.

      I also suggest having areas set aside for incoming guests to quarantine for quite a while.  In my case I can use my upper barn that also has an apartment & the lower horse barn with stalls.  If you don’t have such a setup, then find remote areas in your home that can be turned into such a quarantine area.  I suggest stocking rolls of clear plastic and lots of duct tape.  Depending on how many groups arrive, you might need several such areas.

      • 7

        Redneck, Real good; Thank you. The incoming guest arrangements are critical. Otherwise, the entire place is infected by transferred germs, statistically speaking.

        The barn apartment definitely qualifies as something for social distancing.

      • 3

        Redneck, I’m with you on heavily stocked PPE’s. I got a link for you on zippers for clean rooms/quarantine rooms Zipwall barrier

        From what I understand these zippers work very well. The seal is quick and secure. Construction uses them also to keep dust/debris inside work area.

        Another thing for cleaning boots that the vet use is big plastic open containers (trays with high sides)where they clean their boot before and after entering farms.

        It’s a good thing to have when disinfecting to prevent spread of contagious disease.

        Thanks for the info on pool shock. Is there one that you recommend? I was told some of them have additives.

      • 5

        No, I don’t recommend any brand.  As far as I know, pool shock is pool shock.  As far as additives, I ain’t planning on eating the stuff.  🙂  But seriously, pool shock is simply a chlorine product designed to kill germs in large bodies of water.  Beauty of it is you can make it super concentrated if you wish.  I stock it to add to drinking water (just a tiny bit) and to make concentrated disinfectant.

    • 2

      I wanted to provide additional information for the original post that I researched today.

      As preppers, we know to be concerned about our environments and environmental changes.

      This is new territory to navigate. We have to learn how to watch for zoonotic diseasesas vector points of transmssion for emerging diseases and syndrome.

      We prep while, considering climate change, weather, and economic changes. Why should this be any different?

      The Nipah Virus information from the emerging diseases list from original post BBC news contains information about how it is transmitted and where.

      I wanted to understand why such a previously unknown and horrific progressive neurological syndrome that began in 2015, would happen in New Brunwick. Why there? What that region?

      I went on the hunt and checked out some additional information relating to the above post.

      The area of concern for the cluster of 42 cases of unknown progressive neurological syndrome has been reported, since this began with the first case 2015 and then exponentially increased, as North East and Moncton area.

      The area of concern is to date, limited, and I wanted to look at a map to see if there were any environmental areas of concern. There do not appear to be any ports situated in this area.

      Map of New Brunswick 

      New Brunswick is a mining province and has many abandoned mines.

      Abandoned Mines NB

      Note second photo of abandoned mine. The open abandoned mines provide a habitat for the bats.

      Bats carry more than rabies, their feces also carry viruses, such as the emerging Nipah Virus mentioned in the original post link from BBC News.

      From the link below, the disease which was killing off the NB bat population is “White-nose syndrome is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate.”

      White Nose Syndrome Bats

      This is a fungus that lives in cold humid conditions that has created and emergent disease in hibernating bats. The bat habitats now have an environmental threat in the form of a new fungus.

      Bat Population in NB

      The other species who inhabit this world are being affected by emergent disease and syndromes created by new threats to their health, as we also experience from our vantage point, further along the food chain.

      What happens to other species affects us. It will affect the emergent diseases and syndromes for which we will have to prepare and battle if we are to survive.

      Zoonosis or zoonotic diseases are well worth understanding for preppers:

      Understanding Zoonosis

      Another possible factor for this unexplained syndrome is the effects of lead poisoning. Lead exposure is critical for children due to the blood/brain barrier in a developing brain.

      Lead poisoning also impacts adults.

      Lead pollution

      Lead, Zinc, Copper are mainly mined in New Brunswick

      Mine List NB

      Other metallic minerals mined in New Brunswick are included in next link. Gold mining also can also create health problems.

      Gold mining health risks

      Note, in the link how “increased prevalence of certain bacterial and viral diseases” is listed as a health effect of Gold mining.

      Gold Mining Disease

      Lead can leach into air, water and soil in various ways.

      Lead in air water and soil

      The outbreak in New Brunswick is thought to be possibly be a new type of prion disease. Here is a link that explains prion diseases:

      Understanding prion diseases

      This is the beginning of learning about this topic for me. I hope you will join me in learning about this risk. I believe this is one of the ways our prepping is going to change. We need to change with it as required. The situation in New Brunswick will unfold as more data is released. The BBC News article in the original post contains info worth monitoring.

      As I said in the original post, we need to find a way to get ahead of this curve and there is much to learn.

      We are preppers and need not be overwhelmed by this challenge. It is a matter of understanding the risks, how to mitigate those risks and in what ways our prepping will accomplish that goal.

      • 3

        An apology for the typos – I had the 99% of the original post ready to submit and lost it. So I had to redo everything and repost. My fingers were protesting and made typos. 

      • 5

        What you are describing when you say “what happens to other species affects us” is a classic take away from the One Health theory. I believe that examining the One Health theory could be incredibly useful for prepping as it takes into account the intersectionality of health and why diseases emerge. One Health essentially unites human, animal and environmental health under one umbrella and suggests that since nothing happens in a vacuum, a shift in the environmental sphere (for example, deforestation) will cause fallout in the spheres of human and animal health (for example a spillover of a novel disease), and similarly, impacts in the animal health sphere will impact the other two spheres, etc:


        Source of Graphic (forgive the medicine/médecine typo-this is an article from a French Institute)

      • 5

        Camille, So glad you posted One Health Theory. The holistic approach to the future of emerging diseases and risk factors is vital to prepping in a way that is consistent with our changing environment.

        Thank you very much for this info.

    • 6

      I came here to offer my advice but it looks like Redneck has mentioned everything that I have to say.

      • Lots and lots of protective equipment (masks, respirators, coveralls, googles, gloves) 
      • Soap and other disinfectants. I’m going to be stocking up on rubbing alcohol, I love putting it in a spray bottle and using that to sanitize things
      • Quarantine people
      • Rolls of clear plastic and duct tape (great for creating clean rooms or quarantine rooms) On top of the clear plastic and duct tape I would add two box fans, one to suck in clean air and one to expel it far away from where people would be able to come in contact with it. 
      • Don’t know if you can buy this, but maybe having a body bag on hand for the worst case scenario. What if there was a super bad like 50% fatality rate disease and the government did an incredibly strict lockdown under marshal law and your family member dies and you now have a body that is infected and needs to be disposed of, or buried in your own yard. I guess you could use the plastic drop cloth that you stock up for your sick room. 

      Covid is a very mild disease compared to some of the nasty things that may come our way, once prices settle down on PPE I’m going to stock up way more than I should. If I have to create a sick/quarantine room in my house and am taping up all the doors, windows, and vents and need to be able to care for my loved one in there, I’m going to need multiple disposable body suits, gloves, masks, and face shields. These will need to be completely disinfected or disposed of if they have any contact with the sick. You will burn through things fast. 

      If any of you are really wanting to be extremely prepared for a new disease/pandemic, I encourage you to watch this episode of this show: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x54x39l I’ve never seen a better show of what to do during a seriously bad pandemic.

      Also, make sure you wash your hands super well. 

      • 5

        HI Bradical, Really solid suggestions and thank you for posting them.

        I have a link for body bags. There were different types but this one is heavy duty:  Body Bags

        Body Bags are a sensible prep for all the reasons you described above. Also if someone staggers in and dies on your property. Nipah has a rate of 48% from what I remember. We are only ever one variant away or recombination of viruses away from a tougher situation.

        Also full hazmat gear and respirator with proper gloves are on my list. I agree they will be probably need to be incinerated and I need to check on the proper way to do that. Our hospital has a special incinerator for any hazmat items.

        I am also getting air cleaners and extra filters like my dentist was using during covid-19.

        There is a zipper for creating a clean/quarantine room in my above reply to Redneck called the Zipwall Barrier.

        Thanks for the link to the video. I will watch it later.

      • 6

        I saw that Zipwall barrier and thought it was a much smarter option than the DIY opening I could possibly make. I’ll have to get a few of those, they look to be a good prep.

        Thanks for the link to the body bags. I’ll have to warn my wife that I’m buying them first though. Don’t need her freaking out that I’m a serial killer…

        “Honey… What’s this that just came in the mail?”

        “Uh… You know what that is! It’s one of those covers to put around your dresses in the closet to protect them from dust!” 

      • 2

        Bradical – ROFL – OMG I just finished swallowing some tea and came this close to spraying it everywhere. Too funny!

    • 5

      So glad to see a thread about this as emerging infectious diseases is my favorite topic! However I wanted to correct some of the mis-information that popped up in this thread. All my sources are cited and peer-reviewed (so you know they are real facts and not just my opinion)!

      My background: I have an undergraduate degree in Biology and Society with a concentration in Infectious Disease Biology and I worked as a researcher in a microbiology lab focusing on Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera. I’m a fellow of the Cornell Institute for Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease. I am currently a COVID-19 contact tracer and part of the COVID-19 vaccine effort in my hometown. I will be beginning my  PhD in the emerging infectious disease field in August.

      Some interesting points I’d like to make:

      1. The ‘potentially a new prion disease’ memo was likely not released to the public because prions aren’t often classed as high concern as humans don’t typically contract prions from other infected humans. Here’s why you really shouldn’t worry overmuch about prions: Prions, the pathogenic agents which cause abnormal folding of proteins which leads to death, are very rare and can easily be avoided. They are spread via eating contaminated products like meat from a host that had the prion, or in very very rare cases by neurosurgical equipment used on a patient with a prion disease that hasn’t been decontaminated (I found only a few cases of this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5082740/ ). Unless you live in a society that practices ritualistic funerary cannibalism (as was the case with the spread of the Kuru prion: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466359/ ) you will most likely never contract a prion from another human. Avoid eating any that animals that are clearly sick (or already dead). Most everything that acquires a prion wastes away, dies quickly or exhibits some neurological behavior which should tip you off to avoid it. See the CDC for more info here: https://www.cdc.gov/prions/index.html

      2. Want to learn about emerging infectious disease concerns in real-time? Sign up for the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwrsubscribe.html Peer reviewed sources like the CDC, WHO and scientific journals are always better sources to find information on emerging infectious diseases, as they cut through the politics and fear-mongering present in many other sources.

      3. I grew up on a diversified livestock farm where we raised cattle, hogs, chickens and turkeys. I’m not advocating a certain kind of diet HOWEVER, if you want to keep something in mind for a survival scenario, here’s a tip: animal products when not properly regulated by a food safety task force are potentially a major source of pathogens even if cooked to safe temperatures. Not saying you can’t have plants with bacterial contamination, but here are some pathogens we introduced to humanity via processing and consuming animal products: trichinosis (pork), SARS-CoV (originated in a live animal market), Ebola (bush meat), HIV (was originally SIV in non-human primates and the first case of HIV, the spillover event, was likely a hunter who had an open wound while rendering meat from an infected primate), variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (usually contracted from beef impacted by Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). The Causal Relationship Between Eating Animals and Epidemics: https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/511192

      4. The above list merely covers pathogens you can pick up from butchering and eating animals, but poor biosecurity and lack of hygiene during a survival situation could also potentially expose one to many other zoonotic diseases such as: Rabies, novel influenza strains, flea-borne diseases like Yersinia pestis (likely the causative agent of the Black Death-we actually have endemic ‘plague’ in the U.S. but there are usually fewer than 20 cases per year: https://www.cdc.gov/plague/maps/index.html ) or typhus (potentially the causative agent of the Plague of Athens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7118959/#:~:text=Epidemic%20typhus%20has%20been%20mentioned,conjunctival%20suffusion%2C%20and%20truncal%20rash.&text=The%20rash%20of%20typhus%20is,extremities%20as%20described%20by%20Thucydides. ). There has even been a reported case of a hunter acquiring tuberculosis from field dressing a white tailed deer in Michigan: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6837a3.htm

      5. I read somewhere in a comment in this thread, that someone was concerned about viruses persisting outside of a host and remaining infectious. This is not typical as viruses are obligate intracellular parasites-which means they can’t replicate outside of living host cells, and if we are anthropomorphizing viruses, replicating is their ‘goal’: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7149757/#:~:text=Viruses%20are%20small%20and%20relatively,intracellular%20parasites%20(Figure%201). Rarely, some viruses can survive on organic surfaces for a limited amount of time. A good example of this time-limited survival is the Hepatitis B virus which can live in dried blood for up to one week (which is a really long time, as most viruses deteriorate within minutes or hours when outside the body): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/correctionalhcw/cross.html#:~:text=Hepatitis%20B%20virus%20can%20live,for%20up%20to%20four%20days.&text=Work%20surfaces%20that%20become%20contaminated,bloodborne%20disease%20through%20cross%2Dcontamination.

      6. An easy trap to fall into in the context of speaking about emerging infectious diseases is the ‘us versus them’ rhetoric. We like to have someone/some group to blame for a disease and it’s spread, however the truth is disease often comes from within our own communities and borders and many epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists will tell you that we are only as safe or as healthy as the least safe or healthy place/group/people.

      7. I see there is concern over Nipah (interesting enough no one mentioned Hendra virus), and it is something scary due to its high mortality rate, however the main human-to-human transmission of Nipah has been reported amongst close contacts: family and care-givers of those who were infected via a spillover of the virus from animals to humans: https://www.who.int/health-topics/nipah-virus-infection#tab=tab_1 Lethality makes sensational headlines, however high transmissibility is what you should really watch for. Highly lethal diseases often kill their hosts before the host can transmit them to many people (except in the case of respiratory illnesses like pneumonic ‘plague’ another form Yersinia pestis infections can take). Most people have probably never heard of Marburg, a viral hemorrhagic fever which is highly lethal: https://www.who.int/health-topics/marburg-virus-disease/#tab=tab_1 , yet have definitely heard of outbreak of say, measles, which is highly transmissible.

      8. Diseases typically evolve to live with us, as the longer we survive the more they can replicate using our resources, however this takes time, as in in time on an evolutionary scale. For example, about 90% of people are infected at some time in their lives with the Epstein Barr Virus (‘mono’ or ‘Kissing Disease’) and usually have no ill effects unless they have underlying health conditions: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215121905.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,occurring%20because%20of%20this%20virus. This is because this virus like many y-herpesviruses has evolved to live with us humans over a large span of evolutionary time: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK47368/ When it first emerged perhaps it was more detrimental to the human population but now, a large majority of people get it and forget it or never know they were exposed at all. This means novel viruses often kill us because they essentially haven’t habituated to using us as hosts.

      9. Vaccines are not a magic-bullet. You can still get infected after being vaccinated, usually vaccines just lessen the severity and duration of the potential infection.

      10. In regards to body bags: most bodies aren’t as infectious as movies and media make them out to be, and many infectious diseases don’t even make dead bodies infectious long-term because the host environment supporting the pathogen has ceased to function. Someone spoke about a 10 mile bury radius in this thread which is simply not based on fact. The World Health Organization confirms this here: https://www.who.int/hac/techguidance/management-of-dead-bodies-qanda/en/ Essentially they suggest being mindful when handling a body and using PPE if there is a potential for infection and the body is being handled in an infectious window, and being sure not to contaminate water sources upon burial (honestly in most scenarios the living are probably far more likely to contaminate a water source). I have seen an interview with a mortician, Caitlin Doughty, confirming that the majority of dead bodies really don’t pose that much of a risk to the living. While decomposition isn’t pretty, most of the microbes doing that work don’t have a huge effect on the living population. Doughty writes “The bacteria involved in decomposition are not the same bacteria that cause disease.” One of my best friend’s from undergrad worked with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria, a real Hollywood favorite), and the isolates were ‘escapees’ from the microbiome of living individuals that their immune system didn’t catch, not swabs from the necrobiome of the dead.  https://health.ucsd.edu/news/2006/pages/02_21_nizet.aspx

      11. Major causes of emerging infectious diseases: global warming (malaria may be coming to a newly warmed region near you: https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/climate-change-impacts/vector-borne-disease ), deforestation (a great way to stumble upon novel pathogens and their hosts which otherwise would never interact with humans: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stopping-deforestation-can-prevent-pandemics1/#:~:text=All%20these%20factors%20will%20lead,cholera%20and%20HIV%20among%20them ), global interconnectivity leading to fast transport of pathogens and hosts around the world, and a lack of unified regulation around surveillance of animal populations which can act as sentinels for disease (and since almost every country including the USA has live animal markets we will likely see diseases emerging from them at some point).

      12. While working in a cholera lab one of my mentors introduced me to this really interesting article: https://www.nature.com/news/2003/030113/full/news030113-2.html Turns out if you are in an area where cholera is endemic, filtering water through cotton cloth (such as sari cloth) decreases the incidence of cholera, not because the cotton cloth can filter out microscopic Vibrio cholerae, but because V. cholerae colonizes copepods (chitinous water crustaceans) which are filtered by the cloth, thus reducing the incidence of cholera. I’d still much rather trust any of the water filters reviewed by The Prepared, but it’s an interesting piece of knowledge for sure.

      13. As someone in the Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) field here is what I worry about: the NEXT novel respiratory virus, COVID-19 not teaching us anything preparedness-wise as we rush to move past the misery of it and get back to ‘normal’, and antibiotic resistance.

      14. I don’t think prepping for emerging infectious disease looks all that different then prepping for other disaster scenarios except that EID is just another feed of information to monitor and keep a pulse on. Personal Protective Equipment is important when used properly, but in reality, behavior is what keeps people the safest.

      • 7

        Prions are some kinda nasty.  My sister died from Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease over a year ago.  She died within 6 months of first symptoms.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

      • 5

        Condolences to you and your family. Sporadic CJD is horrible.

      • 5

        Redneck, I am very sorry for the tragic loss of your sister. I send my condolences.

      • 7

        Camille, Appreciated mention of poor biosecurity and lack of hygiene during a survival situation.  Thank you.

        Ref “avoiding eating any …animals (or already dead)”; Can you amplify on this. Discussions around here … we are laity … involved “road kill” animals, creatures killed on the roads due cars and the actual real question on how long a hunter can wait until preparing a recently killed creature and consuming it.

        Peer reviewed sources like CDC, WHO really do not remove the politics from the studies. Note that the CDC Foundation, a “private” org, provides many seminars, retreats, research grants. CDC has an office in Washington, D.C. It is not staffed with scientists. They are de facto lobbyists. IMO, the best source for non-politicized information and this source can also get tainted … are the available insurance payouts.  Just follow the money. Even much of the insurance industry is closed to public view.

        Ref the mentioned Epstein – mono/kissing virus; We senior citizens learned indirectly about this from Dione Warwick in 1969; “What do you get when you fall in love ? …… You get enough germs to catch pheumonia”.


      • 5

        To clarify my point on “avoiding eating sick or already dead animals”. This applies to a situation where there is no food safety inspection entity or there is one but it’s not trustworthy by your standards (or accessible). In a survival scenario I would only eat meat as a very last resort unless I had previously stored it as a prep and I knew it was inspected/safe. This is despite my background on a livestock farm and knowing the basics to butcher animals like chickens/pigs/cows and field dress deer etc. As a child, I ate venison, now as an adult who is in the emerging infectious disease field? No chance. You just don’t know an animals health status unless it is your own livestock (and even then-do you really? I’d trust something from my parent’s farm but definitely not anywhere else) or if it has been inspected by a food safety entity you trust. If you don’t know how an animal died-obviously you should not be eating it because most living things don’t die of old age-they die of some type of condition that caused a breakdown in function. Maybe it was infectious, maybe not. Why chance it?  If it displays signs of neurologic disease before death-also assume you should not ingest it. If it displays any signs of illness at all-I’d pass. If you ever find yourself in a situation where there is no food safety inspection authority-chances are medical services are also lacking and you may be on your own if you contract something. Simply put, mammals carry diseases that we can easily contract from them. In order to be a smart sane prepper, I’d avoid contact with something that potentially harbors disease as much as possible, because mitigating the effects of illness post-exposure is not a situation I want to put myself in. I spent a semester in the Yunnan Province of China studying the Chinese public health system and the first phrase I learned in Mandarin was “I’m a vegetarian.” I wasn’t in the US but I definitely was intentionally a non-meat eater in China as I didn’t feel comfortable eating meat in a country that wasn’t as heavily regulated in the food safety category as the US system. Out of the 25 or so students-I was the only one to never contract any travel-related food illness during the course of our stay(however this is merely my own speculation that not eating meat was correlated with not getting sick) but if you are in a place where cold chains don’t exist (like I was) it’s not hard to contract a food-borne illness.

        It is fair to say that nothing is completely unbiased – even science. Science is done by people and people have biases and these can certainly still be present despite rigorous review processes before publication of data. Saying everyone has an agenda is not all that insightful because everyone does have an agenda, and we know this because as individuals we also have agendas. The CDC may have spectacularly messed up it’s first response to COVID-19 but a big part of their ‘agenda’ at the end of the day is to provide information to the public (just like the WHO and NIH). Certainly I believe in questioning sources-but if it’s gone through a review process to be published, multiple scientists have vetted it (and as someone who has submitted research to a scientific journal the process to publication is lengthy). The lobbyists certainly aren’t writing guidelines on what vaccines you should get to travel, scientists are. The CDC like every other organization would like money, hence the lobbyists. Everyone who has ever mentored me at the CDC has definitely been a scientist or physician.

      • 7

        Camille, Thank you for the amplification re hunted animals. I’m probably replying/rambling on more than 1 post here but will still try to present a couple of “stand alone” comments.

        I started learning the basics of this stuff with the polio scare and then the Thalidomide (thalomid/talimol) tragedy. Later, learned that cigarettes were not healthy but some narcotics in small quanties (alcoholic beverages) were OK. The current event in Virginia is the medical and recreational marijuana program.

        I’m not a scientist. Yet, I believe atomic fallout and its effect on crops, fish, animals were known to scientists but t he testing in the atmosphere continued until 1963. Non-atmospheric testing continues. Oxycontin is still in the news.

        There is a probability that whether a virus is alive or not depends on the type of audience. Much literature tells of vaccines with dead or weakened viruses. Am guessing it’s not a matter of semantics. Here we recently had a dispute on “poisonous snakes” versus “venemous snakes”.  Now this was semantics ! … at least for lay audiences.

        Pre the COVID-19 pandemic, there were countries with stricter requirements for immunization requirements for travel,  WHO is really like CDC.

        Unoffically, China, like unofficial USA, has different levels of public health. Nixon and Kissinger were served Peking Duck at the now famous banquet.

        For the record, less survival situations, I am a vegeterian. 

        I am now in the mood for a Mao Tai sorgum liquor.

      • 3


        Wow – poisonous versus venemous snakes?

        Semantics wielding deixis: a scourge upon syntax.

      • 4

        Bob – Good points. In my reply to Camille, cited “Osler’s Web” by Hilary Johnston which is an expose of that underbelly.

        The natural resources people here give “road kill” deer to people.

        Maybe it’s edible, but I don’t like the time line with road kill or the inability to observe animal behaviour prior to the road kill incident. Hunter’s observe their prey before shooting it.

        There is also the point about how the animal is wounded when killed. A clean shot is different than impact, dragged and dismembered.

        Dad was pretty prompt when hunting, dressing and wrapping meat from a kill.

        Mono just about took my spleen.

      • 4

        Camille, Good to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to reply. Your background will be very helpful and informative in this discussion.

        First, a hearty congratulation to you on your PhD pursuit in the field of emerging infectious disease. Well done, Camille! Stay curious and never stop learning.

        We are of the same mind concerning including the risk factor of new and emerging diseases as part of our preparedness.

        I’ll break my response to you down by your point numbers (mostly so I don’t get confused lol).

        1. I appreciate your points about prion disease that can occur from ingesting contaminated meat and surgical equipment, however, I am concerned about the sporadic form of prion disease such as CJD and FI per Johns Hopkins article.


        There is also concern for the genetic component of prion diseases and pathogenic evolution per genomics research.

        Pathogenic evolution https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45713/

        2. I appreciate the underscoring of my propensity to be very careful of my reading material, regardless of the source. Credentials are not a guarantee of accuracy. 

        An aside, if you like to read as I do, then “Osler’s Web” by Hilary Johnston is well worth the read. It is an interesting piece of medical history.

        It is an enlightening expose of the underbelly that existed in the CDC and research community during the mid 1980’s and surrounded the virus that caused Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

        In that era certain researchers were fresh off the triumph of a major HIV/AIDs breakthrough and looking for their next big “hit.” Careers were destroyed by the tactics used to discredit each other and grab the funding while a virus was destroying lives.

        The actions of all those who could have made a difference, from the county level all the way up, were unprofessional and exemplified conduct unbecoming of those entrusted with public health.

        By studying the mistakes of the past, we can build a better future.

        3 and 4. Excellent points. I second the careful handling of animal products throughout all stages of harvest. 

        I was raised on a farm and we lived on hunted meat for the most part. My family was scrupulous about food safety including where and how the deer was dressed for example.

        People who are new to hunting of any kind must be very aware of this point if relying on any hunted meat during a crisis.

        There is no substitute for good hygiene and food safety.

        5. I am curious about something. From my last reading on Avian Influenza during that pandemic, my understanding is that the virus could live for up to 32 days in water.

        Also, the current Covid-19 virus can exist for varying lengths of time on surfaces, produce and is surprisingly resilient on cardboard of all things.

        Is there a distinction of life span between certain types of viruses? Pardon my ignorance but my background is not scientific.

        6. Also, very good point. I also take that a step further and believe we are only as safe as what we do to protect ourselves because I can control my actions, but not the actions of others.

        7. I raised the issue of Nipah because it was on the top 10 list of emerging diseases on the WHO watch list. I may have missed Hendra, but I don’t think it was on the list.

        I have heard of Ebola Marburg and had the opportunity to listen to someone who was on the front lines of that one. When I asked if it was possible for Marburg to recombine with say, Avian, he said yes and it would be an extinction event.

        8. This point is relevant to the waves of diseases and surviving the most virulent ones until there is either a vaccine, cure or better treatment for the complications of it.

        It is amazing how the disease adapts to co-exist with it’s host without killing it.

        However, there are other ways viruses can be lethal as seen in the linkage between cervical cancer and HPV 16 and 18. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer#:~:text=Cervical%20cancer%20is%20caused%20by,%2C%20vagina%2C%20penis%20and%20oropharynx.

        9. Good point on vaccines – We still need to practise good hygiene and common sense.

        10. Interesting info on body bag and disease. I was thinking more along the lines of if there was a serious disease outbreak, funeral home service may not be available. It seemed like a better way to handle the remains than just leaving them exposed in the yard. But points taken on the disease and thank you for them.

        11 and 12. Thank you for links and info on cotton cloth filtration.

        The newly warmed regions are changing how we experience infection and disease. We have to learn and continue to evolve as the information evolves if we are to survive.

        13 and 14. Well said – I have observed the behaviour around me and wonder if anyone has learned anything from Covid-19.

        People have to realize when “normal” is changed. Appropriate behaviou underscores survival of the fittest, or perhaps in years to come, survival of the “cleanest.”

        I included this also as an aside. (Once I get going with the links…)

        Can plant virus infect human being?


        Thanks again Camille, and very glad you joined this discussion.

      • 4

        I appreciate that you got this thread going-I’ve been spinning on it mentally but since there is so much information out I wasn’t sure how to kickstart an EID thread and keep it relevant to as many people as possible. 

        Viruses aren’t alive, and I think an interesting note to make is that you can find viruses pretty much anywhere-but finding them in an environment doesn’t mean they are 1) still viable and 2) can infect you via route of transmission from whatever non-host environment they are occupying. I have no doubt avian influenza can survive in water and that it exists in high quantity in areas like lakes or ponds frequented by waterfowl that carry it and excrete it into the water. But can it actually infect humans via that pathway? Unlikely. Here’s why: Influenza is a respiratory illness. In order to be infected, you need to be exposed to respiratory droplets carrying the virus and inhale them/get them into mucus membranes/your mouth or nose. That’s why we see close contact between birds (often in agriculture) and humans who are managing them resulting in the majority of avian flu infections. Currently the WHO says that while there are potentially other routes of transmission for avian flu “including ingestion, for example ingestion of contaminated water, there is, as yet, no evidence of this reported.”That’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but we typically associate other diseases like cholera with contaminated water, because that’s the pathway of infection cholera has evolved to occupy. Influenza evolved to be a respiratory illness. 

        As to COVID-19 it definitely isn’t replicating outside the body as viruses are obligate intracellular parasites-part of the reason viruses have been argued to fail the ‘are they alive’ test is because they can’t replicate outside a host. I like the way this blurb explains viruses surviving outside the body although the survival conditions they describe do vary between viruses. Some viruses essentially have more ‘protection’ and can survive longer outside the body, but depending on the infectious dose needed to cause illness, perhaps only a few have to survive to cause illness. Eventually viruses will degrade in the environment. 

        I particularly like this figure explaining virus inactivation outside a host:Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 2.04.34 PM

        I saw the plant virus article you linked-the authors note that it is still to be determined wether or not the plant virus they describe has completed the ‘kingdom jump’ from plants to humans. They did not fulfill Koch’s postulates to verify their findings so nothing can be said for certain. Koch’s Postulates:

        Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 2.12.56 PM

      • 6


        It is a complex and very timely subject that I think many preppers may overlook. I wonder if you could write an article for TP? This way the information could be arranged in a more fluid way. 

        Your communication style is very clear and I think that you could explain these concepts in a way that people of different backgrounds could understand. I hope you consider doing it. I think you could do it justice.

        My idea of prepping is to consider past, present and future. I believe that our environment is changing and we need to adapt. Adaptation or the inability to do so  is how species have survived, or become extinct, a feature of life on this planet that is made all the more tragic by how much of it is preventable.

        Very good points about remembering the viability of viruses and route of transmission. It is probably part of why humans are still on this planet.

        Evidence based science and medicine are like a fence. We know the current boundaries, but understand that should the evidence change, then fence can be moved or expanded.

        Infectious dose is another factor to consider. I have read where viruses are described as particles.

        Your figure of physical, chemical and biological factors affecting virus survival on surfaces would support how using cleaning products during the Covid-19 pandemic has been taught.

        If the Covid-19 virus was more resilient, than a “wipe down” with a disposable cleaning product wouldn’t be effective. I have also read the labels on various cleaners and noted the exposure time which for most is around 10 minutes. So, what you are describing makes sense.

        I wonder if the increased use of antibacterial products and sanitiser during Covid-19 is going to create future problems? Soap and water is the way we are supposed to do it, but so much sanitiser is being used.

        The plant virus article was not determined yet, that is true. However, I thought the idea was interesting and wondered if perhaps someday that information might change.

        It is such a fascinating subject. I don’t think one could ever get bored with it. There is so much to learn and the knowledge changes. No wonder you chose to study this field.

        Also, thank you very much for the links and references. I like to read so very much appreciated.

        p.s. Please write the article. (not nagging, just encouraging lol).

      • 4

        I’m glad you find this helpful, I certainly learn a lot and really enjoying diving into infectious disease research and laying out the facts. I wanted to respond to your point about viral recombination (specifically about recombination of a viral hemorrhagic fever and influenza), but needed to do some follow-up research in order to make a clear point. Here goes:


        In order to recombine viruses need some very specific conditions: the viruses must be co-habitating in a host cell & interact during replication.  There are many different families of viruses and not all can recombine due to hybrid incompatibility(this article mentions plant viruses since you have expressed an interest). Generally speaking recombination occurs between viruses of the same type (for example, an influenza virus recombining with another influenza virus).

         If you follow Occam’s Razor, which basically suggests that the simplest/most straightforward explanation that requires no great leaps is the most likely/the most plausible then we have more to worry about from a novel spillover event of a virus that’s not habituated to using us as a host and thus is deadly to us, then to worry about from a potentially deadly recombination of pre-existing viruses which takes very specific conditions within a host (co-infection) and viral compatibility to occur. I think recombining flu viruses are concerning (the 1918 influenza is a terrifying example), but I have rarely heard major concerns expressed over viruses recombining across families. The ‘pay-off’ of viral recombination for the virus could be “expansion of host ranges…the alteration of transmission vector specificities, increases in virulence and pathogenesis…evasion of host immunity, and the evolution of resistance to antivirals.” which ties in to the concerning ‘extinction event’ scenario you mentioned.

         With all this info in mind: Marburg (and Ebola) are viral hemorrhagic fevers in the Filioviridae family  and influenza is of the Orthomyxoviridae family. Both of these pathogens also have very different ‘transmission/vector specificities’ as one is primarily spread through close contact with infectious fluids like blood etc. and the other is a respiratory virus.

         Viral recombination is an interesting thought question (as is the plant to animal ‘kingdom jump’ question) and part of the fascinating ever-changing landscape of the field of emerging infectious diseases where new issues crop up all the time. However, a recombination of this type it is likely not a major worry for preppers (as there is no special prep for a major viral extinction scenario) and we must focus on what we can truly prepare for. A concern I have in this vein that should be on preppers radars is how bacteria incorporate new genetic material which confers antibiotic resistance to bacterial species. This is very concerning and impacts an estimated two million people annually in the United States alone. The World Health Organization has expressed concerns that the world is running out of effective antibiotics, and this could present serious challenges to the standards of health we currently have in many countries. That’s a serious preparedness challenge.

         I stumbled upon an edition of The Economist’s July 2019 “The World If” series. Basically, it’s a fictional take on what happens if [insert event here]. This one focused on what would happen if we no longer had access to antibiotics, due to the rise of antibiotic resistance. I stress that this account is FICTION, but it is chilling to read the authors take on what the world may look like with no or severely reduced access to effective antibiotics. It definitely got me thinking about how to prep for a future without antibiotics. 


        I’m going to start a thread on prepping for a future without antibiotics.

      • 5

        Camille, I do follow Occam’s Razor and thank you for the explanation of recombination issue re Marburg.

        I am over the moon that you are doing a thread about prepping for a future without antibiotics. 

        Very timely and so needed. The public needs to understand this very important issue.

        You will do it justice.

        Thank you Camille.

    • 5

      I see a lot of very detailed and in-depth answers, so I won’t re-cover any of that material. I just wanted to share a two-part anecdote.
      1) When my Healthcare System (employer) decided that Covid-19 would be a concern, we dug out the old Ebola kits that had gotten tucked away in the interim. 
      2) I was lucky enough to inherit a full-face respirator while all PPE was reserved for healthcare, but only recently were those restrictions lifted to be able to buy replacement filters from a reliable source (the old ones had an expiry date of 2016).

      I see someone else already posted a list of things that are nice to have, but I will reiterate that if you wait until you know what the next threat is, the appropriate supplies to protect yourself may no longer be accessible.

      • 6

        One of the reasons I’ve held off on getting a full face respirator, even before covid, was the quick expiration date of the filters. What happens when you use a filter past the expiration date?

        Not sure how they are rated but lets say it filters out 95% of material, would an expired mask only filter out like 80% and after a few more years only filter 60%? 

      • 5

        I couldn’t tell you. I know the 2016 filters still worked great for kitty litter that clouds up as you’re scooping. Not sure I was pulling something else onto my lungs from before I inherited the mask. It’s my understanding that they last  “six months” from opening the package. The CDC website basically says you aren’t protected past expiration, but I have to assume that particles are at least blocked somewhat.


      • 3

        Hazard Awareness I just posted a quick reply to Conrad above with a link that says 5 years with big caveats about storage conditions, heat, light etc.

        My concern is if the filter is “degrading” like bleach does in storage than how reliable is the protection we are receiving from the filter.

        Tomorrow I am going to dig some more and post back with any answers I can find.

        Again, thank you. This won’t be the last situation where masks/respirators will be necessary. We need to understand how this protection actually works with respect to expiry dates.

      • 4


        Really good points. They also mention storage conditions like heat, original packaging, light etc…

        I’m going to do some more digging on this point and check my mask stocks tomorrow. (Just got back from first Covid shot – long drive).

        In the meantime, on the second page of the info on the link it says:

        “How do we know when not to use the respirator?

        First refer to the packaging for a “use by” date. 3M’s recommendation is that respirators be disposed of after the stated use by date. Always inspect the respirator and conduct a user seal check before use per the IFU. If the person wearing the respirator cannot achieve a proper seal, then the respirator should not be used. Even for respirators within the stated shelf life, the respirator should be disposed of immediately upon observation of damaged or missing parts. For those respirators that have established shelf life but which packaging is not yet marked with a “use by” date, 3M recommends they no longer be used if 5 years has passed since the date of manufacture.”


      • 2

        Hazard Awareness – Really good points and many thank for bringing them up.

        re point 1) The old Ebola kits were dug out because they had longer expiration dates? I am very curious about this point.

        2) Thank you very much for the heads up on replacement filters and availablility. I will now treat this item as any other “expiry” dependent item and rotate accordingly. I hope everyone takes note of your warning on this item.

        Thank you again.

      • 5

        To clarify the ebola point, we’re a specialty clinic (think cardiology or orthopedic) and when Ebola was a concern (before I started) they made a special “kit” for if a patient with symptoms presented in the clinic for treatment. It was mostly gloves/gowns type things (and we have disposed of gloves if they had an expiration date). The point that I was attempting to make was the over-simplification that in management’s mind, one pandemic was as good as another (and the 80/20 rule: try to cover 80% of outcomes by doing 20% of the work) Of course we also went through the usual gauntlet of trying to procure PPE like every other clinic.

      • 4

        Hazard Awareness, thank you for helping me to understand better.

        What you are describing sounds like the over-simplification of risk assessment.

        No one in health care should have the additional burden of ppe procurement when the disaster is literally “in the house”.

        I truly hope that there will be planning and procurement standards in place so that no one will ever have to work through the stress of what so many clinics and hospitals were forced to endure. They had enough stress to cope with.

      • 8

        Good morning Hazard Awareness,

        My complete support of your philosophy; get what is needed now and don’t even depend on a later acquisition.  “Later” just doesn’t protect … doesn’t protect even against dilusions. 

        I think that 80/20 rule is the problem.  The better philo is FEMA’s “prepare for realistic, worst-case scenarios”.

        FEMA’s philo allows the prepper to factor in the personal finances and time element required for preparations to include acquisitions like filter supplies. I try to maintain inventories that do not have periodic upgrade requirements. Thus, for me, quality 3M N95 / P100 masks would be my mainstay and common denominator.  Maintenance is priority here and already saturates the routines.  Can’t overload on more inventories. Time margins are needed for just about everything to prevent fatigue.

        My philo governs other threats.  It is expensive to get RX glasses with laser protection – includes over the glasses goggles for laser protection. Budgeting allows for adjusting prepper plans accordingly.  

        This area had the anthrax terrorism scare some years ago. Some threats just need to be avoided (like avoiding key cities eg metro D.C.) so more immediate ones, like food, first aid supplies, can be obtained.

        Will close with statement that our country is not yet ready. At least we preppers started the private citizen efforts.

    • 7

      I hope with this COVID-19 pandemic that people start washing their hands more often. I see too many women walk right out of a stall in a public bathroom and head straight for the door. I also hope that people stay home when they are sick instead of pushing through it because they don’t want to waste one of their sick days. I’ve seen too many co-workers get sick a day or two after sicko Joe  has been sitting at his desk all day going through an entire box of tissues. It brings the whole team down.

      • 2


        When I took over managing an office, I was able to reduce sick time by implementing a few changes. People were always sick or away.

        First, I told them if you are sick, stay home and you will be paid. 

        I made a rule that each person took their phone calls from their desk. No more answering the phone at someone else’s desk, because that person was away and it was more convenient.

        Next I sanitized the door knobs and common areas of the office, like the fax machine and copier on a twice daily basis. Men’s and women’s bathrooms were fitted with new soap and sanitizier dispenser. We had cleaners but I went over and above general office cleaning once a week. This was daily and worth the few minutes it took to do it.

        I had the owner do something about the antiquated and unhealthy HVAC system in the building.

        There was a memo to everyone that illness was spreading because of a lack of cleanliness. I listed what had been done about it and that the rest was up to them.

        I am happy to say that our absentee rate and illness dropped dramatically. I hope this helps.

    • 5

      I read a fascinating book by Sonia Khan called Pandemic. It described the course of many pandemics in the past and described several new ones which I had never heard of. Cholera exploded onto the world because European ships transverse a section of the Indian Ocean where the cholera pathogen was found in the water. Some of that water made its way onto some of the ships, where it infected people for the first time. It ran riot across the world, striking hard and fast, causing diarrhea and dehydration which drained the life from its victims very fast, often within hours. In every country on every continent. It’s still a horrifying disease, but in most cases can be treated now.

      It’s not that now we have frightening new diseases in numbers greater than ever before. Pathogens always mutate and propagate to the best of their ability, and you can never stay ahead of all of them indefinitely. Good nutrition strengthens hosts, as does hygiene. Beyond that, I think you just have to live your life. Living in dense urban environments heightens your risk, but so does living in the country close to animals which spread zoonotic disease. Most of the major contagious diseases of humans made the species leap from domestic animals. Jared Diamond said that the American Indians had no contagious diseases other than, probably, syphilus, because they didn’t live in close proximity to domestic animals the way Europeans and Asians did. But raccoons and coyotes, probably all animals, can be vectors of contagious disease.

      After SARS in 2002-3, many Asians continued to wear masks to curb the spread of respiratory diseases. We could do that as well and wear masks in public indefinitely. A harmless, easy intervention.

      Getting the milder contagious diseases lets us train and exercise our immune system for optimal protection. But not everyone can handle even mild diseases, and dangerous diseases can kill even healthy people. I think life is a balancing act. We can’t ever control or eradicate all dangerous diseases and you’d have to consider whether the attempt were a wise use of resources or a wise endeavor.

      • 4

        Good morning Cia,

        Exactly !  How many European and colonial European families had the old aunt and uncle living upstairs?  They were typically tired people.  They were dealing with illnesses due to aging reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. The immunities built up for the children of the household.

        The definitive solution, besides the medical interventions like innoculations and immunizations: good nutritio, good hygiene and consciously minimizing stress. Besides the germ theory of disease, there’s the stress theory of disease.

        Yes, “life is a balancing act” and a society, encompasing the macro level to the micro level, must balance health care against other matters such a food production and delivery, physical security, evacuations/relocations.

        Recall: “beri beri”, the Brit’s Royal Navy generating the nickname for it’s sailors related to the lime … believe the lemon was healthier.

      • 4


        A quality history example related to disease and field living can be found in the study of President Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery led by Captains Lewis and Clark.

        This link is not the one I was actually looking for … could not find it, presuming it was on the web … that discussed Sacagawa briefing Lewis and Clark on about native Americans and syphilus.

        Regardless, … read the above link; Note this well-funded and provisioned organization experienced “frostbite, hunger, dehydration, bad weather, freezing temperatures and exhaustion”.

        Note link’s mention of “dog meat”, “fleas”.

        Has much changed as of today ?  Ask the SAR folks.

        At least these 2 Virginians knew about Astoria, Oregon as an ideal place for a camp !

      • 5

        Lewis and Clark would have known about syphilus already. Columbus’ men contracted it through sexual activity with native women in the Caribbean around 1500. It exploded onto Europe, spreading like wildfire, and quickly disfigured and killed its victims. In the eighteenth century they realized that mercury suppressed the symptoms and it became the major medical treatment for it until penicillin became available after WWII. But for those centuries, the mercury treatment very often caused general paresis of the insane, paralysis and dementia. Norway and poor populations like American Indians escaped these outcomes. The disease had become milder over the centuries. Allopathic medicine worsened the situation.

      • 8

        Good morning Cia,

        Yes, they were collecting the disease information for the M.D. that briefed them in Philadelphia in prep for their trip.

        There are reports that President Lincoln grew a beard to hide his scars believed caused by mercury treatments.

      • 2

        I read a book called Albion’s Seed which describes the lifestyles of several cultural groups in the US: the Puritans in New England, the Cavaliers in Virginia, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, and the Scotch-Irish in the Southern Highlands. Life has always been very hard and stressful for everyone. 

        A lot has to do with genetic factors. The Northern Europeans in New England flourished in the cold, bracing weather, similar to the climate of Northern Europe where they had evolved. Their children were described by a visitor as being ruddy-cheeked and always running rather than walking. The slaves they had brought did not do well, not having adapted to respiratory diseases as the Europeans had, but dying in large numbers.

        In the South it was the reverse. The hot, humid South had many feverish diseases to which the Europeans had few defenses. The Africans did, and tended to flourish in the South while the Europeans were sickly and died much younger than in the North.

        Many Africans had genes which protected them from malaria, a huge killer wherever it was introduced. My father had malaria when he was twelve, living next to the Mississippi in Reserve, Louisiana. I’ve read that every single person living in the Deep South before the swamps were drained, got malaria. Also the Laura Ingalls Wilder children. Unfortunately, those who inherited the protective gene from both sides got and died of sickle cell anemia.

        My grandmother used to say Man proposes, but God disposes. Many of our proposed solutions make the situation worse.

      • 5

        I like your grandmother’s saying. It was copied.

        “All problems are caused by the solutions to other problems.” Eric Sevareid, TV news commentator 

    • 4

      There is new information on the orignal CBC story . The environment is the chief suspect in the cause of this new, as yet unidentified disease. There is another case and death but officials are not saying where the new case and death occurred. 

      Here are the links:

      Update to original article

      Environmental cause suspected

      This has been going on since 2015 and we are only finding out now because of a leaked memo. And now, the officials are talking.

    • 2

      And here’s more info from the comments on the new article. I just happened to catch this and have posted the links. For anyone hunting or ingesting venison (deer) this is not good news:


      Chronic wasting disease in deer info from BC Govt.