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February 18th 2015

Empire Report: Lynch Fever Outbreak

Lynch Fever

Alan Nuevo: Welcome back to the Empire Report. We go now to a developing story, as new and urgent travel restrictions are being put into place for the entirety of the Goss system in response to the growing concerns surrounding spreading cases of Lynch Fever. For more on the latest, here is Empire Report’s very own Beck Russum.

Beck Russum: Thanks, Alan.

It was an over a year ago that the first reported cases of Lynch Fever first started appearing in Stanton, Nemo and Goss. It seemed for a while that the strict quarantine measures put into place during the last outbreak had been able to get the infection under control. However all that changed when five days ago the first new cases of Lynch Fever in over four months began to appear in Lyre on Cassel. The spread has been rapid. We have new numbers coming in right now. 102 people across 14 cities. 18 new cases in just the past day.

Though the TDD was quick to ground all ships scheduled to leave the planet, new restrictions were announced earlier today that will severely limit all travel to and from the system. Garet Waldon, Associate Director of the Trade & Development Division, released a statement an hour ago ensuring that while all necessary precautions will be taken against the outbreak gaining a wider foothold in the Empire, aid and resources will still be able to make their way to the planet’s surface. The Navy will be working in conjunction with the TDD to enforce the blockade.

Early reports seem to link the first cases to a Genesis-Class starliner that arrived in the resort city on Thursday. If this is true, it may hint at an off-world source of the disease. Of course, since people become infectious long before they show symptoms, it makes tracking the disease’s path a particularly difficult problem. The Imperator spoke earlier today saying that the danger is real, and warned people to get immediately scanned if they are showing any symptoms of Lynch Fever such as fever, sweats, and gastrointestinal pain.

Senate lawmakers are set to discuss the situation today. It will be the first time that the Senate has taken up the Lynch Fever outbreak publically. Officials are saying that this recent batch of cases should be seen as a wakeup call and are pushing for additional resources and funding to be dedicated to the eradication of this deadly disease.

Last night, Cassel Governor Shandra Pesco caused controversy with her remarks in protest of the travel restrictions, proposing that visitors to her world be allowed to leave if they clear the appropriate scans. She has since walked back a little from those remarks, saying that of course travel should be limited if it means saving people’s lives.

Terra has begun to issue its own restrictions on any travelers who have been to Goss in the past week, opening up makeshift holding centers where people will be monitored for 21 days, the maximum amount of time Lynch Fever symptoms can lie dormant.

To give us the latest implications of this health crisis, we are joined now by Dr. Illeana Byrne, who has been with us every step of the way during this most recent outbreak. Dr. Byrne?

Dr. Illeana Byrne: To everyone watching Empire Report, I want to make it very clear that it is terribly important to be aware of any signs of symptoms. This is especially true with younger members of your family. Children in particular are extremely susceptible to contracting Lynch Fever, as are people who may already have compromised immune systems, such as the elderly.

Beck Russum: And if they do experience symptoms?

Dr. Illeana Byrne: This may seem counter to common sense, but the best thing to do is to stay put. Moving to a med center only increases the risk of infecting other people. Much better to comm a health official and wait for a unit to come and scan you at home.

Beck Russum: There has been some concern about these extremely strict travel restrictions, that blockading an entire system is too severe. That they are causing more harm than good. That they are keeping families apart. Do you think such draconian measures are needed?

Dr. Illeana Byrne: When I talk to Citizens, when I talk to parents, when I talk to anyone, I explain that as a physician and as a public health expert, I can tell you that these travel restrictions are very necessary. Right now we still have hopes of containing this most recent outbreak, but we will continue to see it spread if people don’t step up. We know how to control this. We’ve got to get on this.

Beck Russum: Thank you for being with us again tonight, Dr. Byrne. The Empire Report will continue to provide crucial updates as this story develops. Alan.

Alan Nuevo: Lynch Fever. Not something you want to mess with. Our thoughts are with all those in Goss tonight.

Sataball opening day is right around the corner and when we come back, Argia Mumbo stops by with a few party planning tips to make sure you start your season off right. You don’t want to miss it.

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