I did note that you posted this before the Epilogue was released. That final chapter tells how the virus got released and why.
To answer some of your questions:
1 --- How the hell did they miss the 'Homo' bit at the beginning?
As noted in an earlier chapter, the information was found in a corrupted file hidden in the ship’s computer. Whoever tried deleting the material did well enough that it disappeared from the main computer, but still remained as a corrupted file. No doubt that word, along with other vital information, remained too corrupted for recovery. Have seen television stories that are based on the same premise, computer data that is only partially recoverable and the people trying to decipher it.
2 --- When did the Morphs develop this virus? The Morphs on Earth are too primitive, and they would never have got away with it before the humans left.
An earlier chapter noted the development of the virus by the morphs as happening after humans left the Earth, but while still within communication range. Of course the morphs of the strip and game are primitive and could never develop the virus, but what about before the Exodus? According to the strip, the morphs were exiting a dark age. I took the idea that while humanity coexisted, the morphs proved themselves just as intelligent and inventive. Consider history, the white man used biological warfare, (blankets that had been slept in by smallpox victims), to decimate the North American Indians. What if the Indians had the same opportunity with some disease far deadlier?
3 --- How did they develop it so long ago anyway, when they are only received sentience within the last few years, and those that were advanced enough were off on another planet?
Again, there is no mention as to the when. My story is based on the idea that the morphs became self aware during the time humanity and morphs coexisted. Note how I mentioned a bomb exploded over a morph reservation in Ohio. This hints that some time before humanity left, the morphs were beginning to gain basic rights, such as the ownership of property. Again, like the North American Indians, humanity tried confining the morphs to certain areas. But history repeated itself. There were morphs who left the reservation and caused enough troubles that the whites retaliated. The incident at Wounded Knee is just one that I can recall.
4 --- By all rights, the virus should’ve died.
Yes, but then I used a contrivance to perpetuate the virility of the plague, the stasis box. This has been used by science fiction writers in books I have read far too many years ago to explain how something from a distant past maintained its pristine condition. The best examples I can think of are those stories that use cryogenic storage. My idea used the same theory, but to the viral material.
5 --- This is just a minor pet hate of mine rather than an actual criticism, but why do furries keep referring to hands as ‘paws’?
If humanity referred to the morph’s hands as paws, that convention could continue. I do admit that it is somewhat stylistic. I have read books with animal characters as the equivalent of humans that refer to the animal’s body parts with either or both terms. It is often used in science fiction as a means of distinguishing one character from another when both appear, even if a reader should remember that the scientist working with the human is a seven-foot tall lizard.
Next, I am going to take specific examples from your text and explain what is wrong with them, and how you can do better. I would do that in the main body, but that would require extra effort on my part and bollocks to that. I’ll write the next part in a new post, to be posted at precisely whenever the hell I feel like it.
I look forward to any and all constructive comments.