From:Larsen
To:*Galactic-Enquirer
Stardate:20090219.0459
Subject:Plague Spreads to Bajor

GNN -- TOZHAT PROVINCE, BAJOR. Reports of the spread of the Vargian Flu epidemic have expanded to include the planet of Bajor, as of this afternoon. A senior Bajoran governmental official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter, confirmed that there has been an outbreak of the disease on the planet. While the extent of contamination on the surface of Bajor has not been confirmed by official sources, the epidemic is rumored to be widespread. While details have not been formally released to the public, it is also believed that the USS Venture, a Galaxy-class vessel in the Starfleet Naval Service, was destroyed with all hands while providing relief to the planet. Both the Bajoran government and Starfleet were unwilling to make a formal statement this afternoon.

The contamination of Bajor with the Vargian Flu is only the latest in a string of outbreaks which have been plaguing the Alpha Quadrant this month. Following the rapid spread of the virus on Alpha Centauri VII, a number of other planets have had similar outbreaks of the disease. The presence of Vargian Flu has been confirmed on several planets throughout the United Federation of Planets, and beyond, including Alpha Centauri VII, Ferenginar, Altair IV, Vega IX, Terellia, New France, and Delta IV. Rumors of other outbreaks are widespread, but unconfirmed by official statement.

The death toll from this epidemic is staggering. Although exact figures are unavailable, due to the evolving situation, preliminary estimates place casualty counts well into the hundreds of millions. A cure for the Vargian Flu exists, but supplies have run low over the last month. The primary ingredient in the cure is Berkellium, a highly sought after isotope which has found itself in low supply recently. In addition to the low stockpiles of Berkellium, rumor suggests that Starfleet Medical is running low on the antidote for Vargian Flu with little ability to rapidly generate further sizable amounts without additional supplies of Berkellium.

Starfleet has been stretched thin, as of late, attempting to provide support to all of the afflicted planets. At this time, the origin of the outbreak remains unclear, though there are murmurings that this may have been a deliberate biological attack on the United Federation of Planets. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.