Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue
Another example: typhoid kills 600,000 people a year, and does it because of genetic recombination:
Oh, my -- and influenza, from a mixing of pathogens from different species: "Independent assortment between an animal and a human strain of influenza virus during a mixed infection can yield an antigenically novel influenza virus strain capable of infecting humans but carrying animal-strain hemagglutinin and/or neuraminidase surface molecules. This recombinant can infect individuals that are immune to the parent human virus. This mechanism results in an immediate, major antigenic change and is called antigenic shift. Antigenic shifts in influenza virus antigens can give rise to pandemics (worldwide epidemics) of influenza. Such antigenic shifts have occurred relatively frequently during recent history."
Diseases have always been with man and wild. It's the nature of the natural world. Europeans killed natives with their disease when they colonized America. If anything, we should concentrate on protecting our tanks from the outside and not the outside from us.