Medical Journal


June 5th - The sunshine had returned to Desert View. But not before a winter of rain and dark overcast days. A condition usually not encountered in this location. The jet stream, high above this desert community of 150,000 residents, had carved trough after trough of low pressure that resulted in storms tracking in, delivering over three times the annual rainfall. Most of the people of Desert View had not enjoyed the rainy weather. They were used to sunny days and cool nights. This community, situated 87 miles from Los Angles, along I-15 leading to Las Vegas, prides itself in its average 360 days a year of sunshine.

High Desert Community Hospital, the largest of the three hospitals in the area, was experiencing a "slow" day. There had been two car accidents, one snake bite, three babies delivered and two cases of the "flu" logged for the day.

June 6 - The start of the day at High Desert Community Hospital was normal. Dr. John Wilson, age thirty-two and head of the hospital's medical staff, was making his normal rounds. Dr. Wilson was a brilliant man who's experience seemed impossible for his age. He had served internships in various locations throughout the United States and other countries, including those in Europe and Africa. He even spent a six month residence at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. In his medical field, a pulmonary specialist, he was among the top in the country. He began to check on his pulmonary cases, including the two "flu" cases, and realized that they were not improving. In fact, both patients were developing some troubling signs.

June 8 - One of the two "flu" case had become so bad that he was now on a respirator to help him breath. This man, a 78 year old retired businessman, had developed the "flu" like symptoms almost a week ago while working around his home. He had been a resident of Desert View for 42 years. The second man, a 21 year old college student was also doing poorly. But he was able to breathe on his own. This man had become ill while on vacation from his home state of Arizona. He had been camping in the mountainous area known as Mountain Valley, 45 miles south of Desert View, for the last three weeks.

June 10 - One of the original two "flu" patients dies. The retired businessman lost his fight for life. The pulmonary distress was so great, Dr. Wilson had known that the outcome for improvement was slim. The second patient, the 21 year old male was responding. The large doses of antibiotics were working. His breathing was less labored and his lungs were clearing.

June 11 - Three new cases of "flu" patients are admitted to Desert View Community Hospital. Dr. Wilson was becoming concerned. He had not seen a disease quite like this before. It was flu like to be sure, but the depth of the disease with its pulmonary pathology were esteem. The patients were progressing from healthy to critically ill in a very short period of time.

June 14 - Five new victims of the mysterious "flu" disease were admitted to Desert View hospital. Dr. Wilson checked and discovered 10 cases of the disease had also been admitted to the other hospitals in the area.

June 15 - Two patients died at Desert View Community Hospital form pulmonary distress. Three cases of the devastating killer flu had just been diagnosed in two separate wards at Desert View. Dr. Wilson was now alarmed. What was this killer disease, its cause, method of transmission and how could it be stopped. Was this the beginning of an epidemic?

June 16 - Three more deaths, and 6 new cases involving the respiratory plague. Dr. Wilson realized he needed help. He E-Mailed his friend, Dr. Ray Alexander, who he had worked with, at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for assistance. Within two hours he had a response. An advanced team from the CDC had been dispatched. They would arrive by government jet that evening at the nearby international airport and drive the rest of the way to Desert View. The team would be in place and ready to begin their work to find the cause of this disease by 06:00 hours the next morning. Dr. Wilson was to be a member of the team and assist them with their work at the hospital and with the public relations effort needed with community, county and state officials.