Okay, my morning meeting went a bit faster than expected so I can sneak in a quick post before my first lecture. We were discussing infectious causes of cancer here. I received an email stating how “inconsistent” I was by asserting that a disease could be infectious but not contagious. So, rather than keep giving more examples of other chronic diseases that develop due to an infectious agent, I thought I’d take a different approach (after the jump…)
Y’see, as I’ve mentioned before, one of my interests is planning for any kind of major infectious disease outbreak–which includes bioterrorism. There’s this little bacterium called Bacillus anthracis (AKA anthrax) that is a major concern on this front. In fact, it was already used in attacks in 2001 (still unsolved, I’ll note). Anthrax is highly deadly, especially in the inhaled form. But there’s one thing that’s good about anthrax, from an outbreak standpoint: it’s not contagious. It doesn’t pass person-to-person, so only those exposed to the initial release of the bacterium have to worry.
Duesberg argues in a 1992 paper that microbes aren’t the cause of cancer and other chronic diseases, including tertiary syphilis, kuru, and variant CJD. Though Duesberg gives a number of reasons for this assertion, he ends with, “above all, no human cancers and none of the ‘slow viral diseases’ are contagious.” This was also the assertion made in the “infectious prostate cancer” thread. So, does this also rule out anthrax as having an infectious cause? Am I being “inconsistent” by calling anthrax an infectious disease, since it is not contagious?
Y’see why I don’t find Duesberg et al. reliable authorities on infectious disease epidemiology?