An unprotected sneeze during flu season can give you a cold. Now, apparently, it can give you a few extra pounds, too. There is scientific proof that a virus known as adenovirus 36, or AD36, is making people fat.
The virus was first found in India where it was shown to be making chickens fat. Then, they began to study the virus in greater depth and realized that it has possibly spread to humans. To test the theory a small sample of 500 individuals was pulled together. Thirty percent of the obese individuals in the group tested positive for the virus cells.
Research is still being performed on animals, and the researchers have deliberately infected animals with the virus to study its effects. In those animals subjected to the virus over eighty percent did begin to gain weight. It is not clear how contagious the virus might be, and scientists are doing stem cell research to try and develop a cure.
In the meantime, individuals are starting to think about the possibilities of a fat virus. Could an unhygienic neighbor make you fat? Could you deliberately infect someone else with your fat virus cells?
As a society we are already extremely cautious of being near those we perceive as ill. If it is shown that the fat virus is contagious, not only will it help explain the fattening of many adults, but it might start a genuine panic. There is still no definitive cure for AIDS or SARS, so why should we expect a cure for Fat?
Sure, other viruses are much more life-threatening than a few extra pounds, but the health complications of obesity are nothing to sneeze at. Literally.