UPDATE: A yet to be named mutant form of the Kbola virus is suspected to be attacking another subgroup of humans besides politicians — the so-called intellectuals in the academia and literary world. Infected professors and writers seem to exhibit acute memory loss, even end-of-the-world like delusions. In a string of occurrences of the virus around the world, infected academics in world-renowned institutions have also exhibited the classic symptoms of the Kola virus — bowed vertebrae and infarctions in areas of the brain involved in hindsight and reasoning.
A recent outbreak of this mutant form has affected several eminent writers in India. Although they have been around from pre-independence days, the virus has caused infected patients to fantasize that they are seeing thought police for the first time in their life. Acute anxiety attacks followed, and wouldn't abate until the patients had been examined by media personnel. The virus is suspected to have jumped from dead cows and pigs to humans who have consumed or stocked the meat from these animals.
The Competitive Appeasement Fever (CAF) is caused by the Kbola virus (Kill-Brain-Or-Learning-Ability virus), which belongs to the DandRviridae (Divide-and-Rule-viridae) family. It is comprised of four distinct subtypes: Religare L. (Religion), Lingua L. (Language), Gens L. (Race), and Ordo L. (Class). The fifth, Caste, may not be a true subtype, and is widely believed to be a mutant of the Kbola Religare. The Kbola Lingua and Caste subtypes are found almost exclusively in South Asia, but scattered instances have been found in other parts of the world as well. The Gens subtype is prevalent in Europe and North America. The Ordo subtype is found in several regions of the erstwhile Soviet Union, Asia, and parts of Central and South America.
The Kbola virus causes serious clinical illness, almost exclusively in infected politicians. After a thorough analysis of the political genome, researchers have found no evidence of any immunity to the Kbola virus among this human sub-species. Clinically ill politicians may exhibit symptoms of pseudo-hemorrhaging of the heart, obesity, and thickening of the skin, among others. The virus causes only asymptomatic illness in the infected apolitical humans, meaning that they do not themselves experience any clinical illness. Serious secondary effects such as stunted growth, unemployment, and sometimes even depression, are known to occur in all economies where there is an outbreak of political infection.
- The Kbola virus is transmitted by word of mouth, fist-to-face contact, and occasionally, through tables, chairs, and other items thrown by the politicians at each other.
- Heated congressional and parliamentary debates on bills harboring the various Kbola virus subtypes can play an indirect, but significant role in their transmission.
- Socialites from NGO's, particularly those afflicted with the Bleeding Heart Syndrome (BHS), are known carriers of the Kbola virus. They are frequently infected while appearing to treat various unrelated human sicknesses. Protective camouflages as academics, activists, and welfare workers, although widely used by the NGO's, have not been effective against the virus.
- The Kbola viral infection is characterized by the sudden onset of spending fever, hearing loss, and weakening of the spine. Uncontrolled CAF may cause frequent waving of both the hands, temper tantrums in the well of the parliament, and sometimes, even mass hysteria.
- Laboratory tests of brain and spinal taps from patients show significant depletion of grey matter and low count of neurotransmitters.
- X-Rays have revealed boneheadedness, large areas of infarction in the cortical regions known to be involved in reasoning, as well as bowed vertebrae in a few severe cases.
- Doctors and technicians are forewarned that physical examination of the clinically ill politicians can be conducted only under arbitrary conditions, and present risk of extreme pain in their own extremities.
- Specialized laboratory tests on brain tissues and spinal fluid can detect specific antigens and/or genes of the virus. Antibodies to the virus can also be detected in interns and hospital staff involved in prolonged bouts with the patients. All the virus subtypes can be isolated in political cultures around the world.
- New developments in diagnostic techniques include non-invasive methods, such as careful reading of the political platforms, minimum programs, and multi-point development schemes, as well as investigation of the kitchen cabinets and remote controllers of the infected patients.
THERAPY AND CONTAINMENT
- Severe outbreaks of the Kbola virus require rapid and firm response from highly qualified doctors, technicians, and managers.
- No specific treatment or vaccine is available for the Kbola induced CAF. In rare cases, fasting by the attending physicians has helped the patient's immune system develop antibodies to the virus. It is suspected that the sympathetic mirror neurons of some of the infected politicians may have played a role in this. Further tests are needed before this can be confirmed.
- Infusion of new blood from different vote banks may help sometimes, but the technique carries a high risk of relapse. In an extensively analyzed outbreak of the Kbola Caste subtype in India, known as the Mandal Epidemic (see below), relapse has occurred in some patients even after 20 years.
- Since no effective treatment is available for the disease, the best recourse is to immediately remove the clinically ill patients from the office buildings and public housing that they occupy, and permanently quarantine them from their constituencies.
There are multiple claimants to the discovery of the Kbola virus, but none can be authenticated. The Competitive Appeasement Fever was named as such by Joe Smith, when reviewing a book written by Jane Doe. The book described several cases of infection with the Kbola Gens subtype in the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union, during the 1930's and 40's. CAF rendered them ineffective in dealing with a horrific outbreak of a mixture of Kbola Religare and Kbola Gens subtypes in Germany, known as Nazism, which wiped out entire populations in a matter of few years.
Recent outbreaks of the Kbola virus have occurred mainly in India, and a few of these are listed below.
- Currently, there is an outbreak of the Kbola Religare subtype in Northern India. This follows on the heels of yet another stubborn outbreak of the Caste subtype earlier this year. It is important to note that these outbreaks have been most severe in the capital district of Delhi, and the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, where elections are to be held in a couple of months. The epidemic is yet to be contained, and many fear that it may severely cramp the promising IT sector and kill the nascent Medical Tourism industry.
- In October and December 2006, two Kbola Lingua subtype outbreaks occurred in the Southern Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The outbreak has indirectly affected thousands of high school students and crippled several schools.
- The Mandal Epidemic that started in 1979, was the most severe outbreak of the Caste subtype to date in India. It peaked during 1989-90, and took several lives before it was finally contained with a massive infusion of fresh blood into the political and economic culture in 1991.
- The Naxal Epidemic, an outbreak of the Kbola Ordo subtype in West Bengal, took many lives during the late 1960's and early 70's. This epidemic is unique in that it did not cause significant political infection and CAF in India, unlike the earlier outbreaks of the same virus subtype in China, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam. Currently, there is sporadic activity of the virus in a few Indian states.
- The Dravidian outbreak of the Lingua subtype occurred in the 1960's, mainly in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It was accompanied by a variant of the CAF, known as the Anti-Hindi Fever or AHF. The AHF, a secondary effect, affected mostly the student population, and was fatal in many cases. The concurrent CAF caused extensive and permanent damage to the body politic of the state.
- Natural reservoirs of the Kbola viruses seem to reside in parliaments, legislative assemblies, and campaign trails. Although one non-human primate, the Red Monkey is known to carry the virus, it is not thought to be a reservoir. No Kbola infections of human cases have been linked to direct contact with the Red Monkey.
- Dormant pools of the viruses can be found in libraries that archive old and worn out government policy and planning documents. These can become active quickly before and during elections.
- The virus is known to thrive and multiply in growing economies, feeding on the half-baked pies made from the blood, sweat, and tears of sleepless call-center operators and programmers.
¹ This fact sheet is patterned after WHO fact sheets, particularly the fact sheet for the Ebola hemorrhagic fever.