Origins of the next super-virus

People often speculate on the origin point for the next super-virus. Marburg and Ebola come out of Central and East Africa; SARS and novel H1N1 originated in mainland China, so those two locations get a lot of attention. There’s lot of animal-human interaction there, which allows for nasty viruses to make the jump from monkeys, birds, bats and pigs to humans. I’m sure the CDC and WHO spend a lot of time monitoring developments in those locations. And that’s fine, if we use facts and history as our guide.

For myself, I’m fairly confident that the next super-virus will emerge from the slurry that is the floor of our minivan. The interaction of battered gray Toyota floor mats, granola bars, popcorn, lollipop sticks, empty Capri Sun pouches, fallen french fries and discarded chewing gum make for a biologic soup unrivaled anywhere. I’m sure our family has developed contact immunity simply by breathing the air while driving to and from play dates, dance classes, and various baseball and soccer practices. For the rest of you, I’d approach the Sienna with caution.